JANUARY 17, 2020
Nissany part of Israel GP push for 2021 - report
There is more than meets the eye to Williams' new test driver signing.
At the post-grand prix test in Abu Dhabi last year, the largely unknown 25-year-old Roy Nissany was suddenly at the wheel of Williams' 2019 car.
He was quickly ridiculed, not only because he was several seconds off the pace of Williams' regular drivers, but because his then 42-year-old father Chanoch was even slower when he did a Friday practice for Minardi back in 2005.
For the 2020 test driver announcement, which will involve Nissany doing several Friday practice sessions, Claire Williams travelled to Roy's native Tel Aviv.
He has strong Israeli backing, including by the new Tour de France team Israel Start-Up Nation.
"I feel like we are all putting the Israeli flag on the map," Nissany said.
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport said it could just be the first step towards a grand prix in Israel, perhaps as soon as 2021.
"The goal is to race in Israel in 2021," Nissany admitted. "It would be a dream to be able to drive there, with 350 million people admiring my country on TV.
"For me it has been a long journey - almost 20 years," he said.
"Formula 1 was never a dream but a goal. Williams is a wonderful place to learn and I am very grateful to be offered this opportunity."
Israel Start-Up Nation was founded by Canadian-Israeli billionaire Sylvan Adams, who said: "The fast-track plan is for Roy to be an actual F1 driver as early as 2021.
"Of course, he has a few hurdles to accomplish before he can be selected to be one of the two drivers."