Roy Nissany, Williams, Monza, 2020

Nissany will drive one of Williams’ three pre-season test days

2021 F1 season

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Williams has announced test driver Roy Nissany will drive one of its three days of testing ahead of the 2021 F1 season.

The team confirmed today Nissany will continue as its official test driver for the new season. His role will include a day of running in pre-season testing, which has been cut from six days to just three this year.

Nissany will again take part in three first practice sessions for the team in the new season, it added. He drove for them at the Circuit de Catalunya, Monza and Bahrain last year, as well as in the post-season test for young drivers.

The 26-year-old, who finished 19th in Formula 2 last year, said he had “made huge progress” since joining the team. “On top of the great [first practice sessions] we had a lot of productive work behind the scenes. While dedicating as much as I can to the team, I enhanced my skills and my capabilities as a driver. I am very keen to continue this form in 2021.”

Team principal Simon Roberts said: “As a team, we were very happy with the contributions Roy made both through his work on-track and in the simulator at Grove, which all aided the lap time gains we were able to make with the FW43. We also enjoyed seeing Roy grow as a driver, and we have no doubt that he will continue to go from strength to strength this year.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Nissany will drive one of Williams’ three pre-season test days”

  1. Ah yes, that’s gonna help you understand your car a lot better

    1. Giving Nissany a drive is like watching an app while playing a game to get more coins for the marketplace.

    2. Luckily they don’t have a rookie this year. Those 3 days can change the course of whole season for a team like Williams.

      1. I think this basically confirms that they have little new to actually test over these 3 days…

        1. I hope that is not true but I’m afraid that it is.

  2. Williams’ press release describes Nissany’s 2020 F2 campaign as “his best season to date in the category including taking pole position for the sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps”. That best result was 19th, an improvement on his 22nd in 2018, and pole was for a reverse-grid race, earned because he finished eighth the day before. From that pole position he retired after colliding with Dan Ticktum.

    1. Well, they’re technically correct, which as you know, is the best kind of correct.

      Honestly, you have three whole days of pre-season testing and you’re gonna waste a day on a rookie with next-to-no F1 experience because of money. You’d think an investment company would rather work on long term value increase for a potential sale in a few years, rather than get that short term pay-check. But maybe the idea was to sell it sooner rather than later and they figured they could get a better price than what they paid Williams, who were rather more desperate to sell?

    2. Back in GCSE I.T. this would have been a perfect example of Data vs Information.
      Data is the fact that he was on pole. Information is knowing that he was only on pole due to finishing 8th the day before.
      Just goes to show you can spin data how you like if people don’t have a context for the information.

      1. @eurobrun that’s COTD for me! Well said.

  3. Gavin Campbell
    19th January 2021, 10:29

    Yikes – clearly money involved because it would make a lot more sense to put Jack Aitken in the car as it’s likely they would need him if either Williams or Mercedes drivers need to isolate/get Covid.

    Roy Nissany is nowhere close to a super license in fact I’m surprised he has a FP1 license. He’s never finished inside the top 3 in any junior championship and outside of a few wins in Formula (Renault / V8) 3.5 there’s precious little to write home about.

  4. We should finally stop playing the game of “the best drivers in the world.” Even the majority of the full-time F1 drivers are rather the best in financial backing, marketing value and political connections with managers and team principals from a very early age – a feat that is impossible for, I dare say, more than 80% of the potential motorsport talents. The merit comes after a ton of other, mainly business aspects.

    1. On that topic, I’m never sure whether it speaks particularly well of F1 that so many sons-of end up racing in the category. If this is supposed to be the best in the world, it seems odd that a number of families have produced the best-of-the-best. If it was simply down to genetics, you would expect to see this reflected in other, more widely accessible, sports.

      One good exception within the F1 world would be the Verstappens- surely Max is exceptional on any level, and his father got in to F1 without a family history in the sport.

      1. Gavin Campbell
        19th January 2021, 14:20

        Well theres a copule of reasons for this outside of pure budget that does tally with other sports.

        Firstly in dangerous sports you tend to see lineage playing a part – very often in motorsport (2 & 4 wheels), rugby, boxing & I’d assume American Football. This is because the danger aspect is baked into acceptance – a sort of “I did this all my young life so its fine if my son/daughter wants do the same”.

        Also the trend in F1 drivers has been over the past 15 years or so has been starting younger and younger. This requires them to start exceptionally young so they increasingly come from “motorsport” families.

        Furthermore its a truely individual sport – theres no signing up kids to a club that have matches (or races in this case) and scouts who pick up the best into junior programs like football or other team sports. Its quite unique in the sense of requiring quite a lot of self starting and organising versus other sports (even Tennis, athletics etc. you start off at a local club where a lot is provided for you by members such as coaching, equipment etc.)

        So many of the F1 drivers today are sons of former drivers, team personell, enthusiasts (IE Gentlemen Drivers and mega fans)

      2. We have more than one “son of” that went on to become race winners, if not F1 world champions, so I suppose I don’t really get the argument here. You mention Max, but what about Hill, Villeneuve, Rosberg, were they not “sons of” before they made their own legacies?

  5. Seeing drivers like Nissany and other pay drivers getting further up the grid is why it’s so important to reduce costs. If you need a cash injection, it will come with strings attached.

  6. I have got to say I expected more from Williams under the new ownership. Nissany is surely only in the car in return for a large amount of wedge. Something you might otherwise have expected the news owners to have taken care of

    1. Williams car-time policy for a while now. Hasn’t changed under new ownership.

      Russell in to get Mercedes backing.
      Latifi in to get Sofina Foods backing.
      Nissany in to get dollars.

      Remember Chanoch Nissany in 2005 ? A disgrace.

      We’re somehow back in time where money rules over talent.

      1. Wasn’t that Roy’s dad, in a Minardi, about a minute off the pace?

  7. Team principal Simon Roberts said: “As a team, we were very happy with the contributions Roy made both through his work on-track and in the simulator at Grove, but most of all with his cheque writing ability which is world class, which all aided the lap time gains we were able to make with the FW43. We also enjoyed seeing Roy grow as a driver, and we have no doubt that he will continue to go from strength to strength this year.”

    Fixed that for you Simon.

    It pains me seeing my beloved Williams in this state…the only way is up I suppose.

  8. I guess on the plus side, it’s a drive during pre-season and not during a race weekend. Which also could be strategic so that it is not broadcast on world-wide TV just how off the pace he is compared to others. I guess we’ll have to see just how much seat time he has purchased though. Maybe there will be race weekends involved as well.

  9. The choice to waste one of only 3 pre season test days on this type of driver quite clearly shows that Williams’s new ownership is not interested in this year’s perfomance.
    A pity for Russell, but apparently they are just planning to stay alive with the least amount of investment and find a buyer when the new budget cap rules have proven their value.

  10. Lets face it. Williams need the money and this is an easy way of getting a bit without doing too much damage.

    The only driver they are seriously going to race in that junior section is the one that did, Aitken.

  11. It needs to be remembered that it’s a testing programme.

    It might be their best option to put in a driver that has strict instructions to follow a very definitive test schedule where no credence is given to lap times.

    My guess is he’ll do day 1 which will involve lots of installation runs, and lots of straight line data gathering and no real performance runs so they can get the car set up for their drivers on days 2 and 3 without sacrificing any time for either out of the car while they sort out issues.

    All that and to get paid by the test driver makes a bit of sense.

    1. I think that something like this is the plan, use him for non performance oriented testing, hes happy and they can get some money in. Its not like sponsorship money is flooding the race teams in these tough times, they might be in dire need.

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