“Working with the team was perfect, we were quite close with the pace and I think it was a very encouraging experience for my first outing,” Nissany said after the session.
By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News
It’s no small accomplishment for a race car driver to make a debut during a Formula 1 weekend. On Friday, Israel’s Roy Nissany did exactly that, hitting the track in the first practice session (FP1) in Barcelona.
The Israeli driver is a test driver for Williams Racing, and this is the first of many times he’s expected to put one of the British team’s Formula 1 cars through its paces. Nissany hopped into the seat of George Russell’s race car, joining teammate Nicholas Latifi at the Spanish Grand Prix.
“Working with the team was perfect, we were quite close with the pace and I think it was a very encouraging experience for my first outing,” Nissany said after the session. “I have learned a lot, and I think I gave good feedback to the team in terms of the development of the car. I come away with very positive feelings and I am already looking forward to the next one.”
Nissany clocked in a time of 1:20.664, only .330 off his teammate’s time. Latifi already has five Formula 1 starts in 2020, making Nissany’s speed more impressive.
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) August 14, 2020
Williams Racing has no constructor points this year, and if the team’s current two drivers don’t improve, the door could open for Nissany prior to year’s end. Thus, these FP1 sessions are critical for Nissany, who can impress team owner Claire Williams.
Constructor points, separate from the driver points, are given to each owner and only teams finishing in the top 10 in an event get points. Drivers like Nissany work their way up to Formula 1 by racing in the preliminary divisions, such as Formula 2. From there, they become test drivers for Formula 1 teams. If a driver proves good enough, he will have an opportunity to run an open practice. If all goes well, the driver can then become part of the Formula 1 starting grid.
Formula 1 works on a point system. The winner of a Formula 1 race scores 25 points. Each subsequent driver scores somewhat less until the 10th position – after that drivers earn only one point. While there’s no minimum amount of points needed to stay in Formula 1, if a driver doesn’t score any, his career will be short.
Only the biggest races are aired on TV but every race throughout the season counts toward the total points earned. Whoever collects the most points throughout the season wins the championship.
“We, together, want to see the Israeli flag on a Formula 1 podium,” Nissany told World Israel News in June. “God willing, we will hear the Hatikvah [national anthem] on top of the podium. It’s happened in the past and I can tell you, it’s the best feeling. It’s an indescribable feeling for myself and those around me. It’s just incredible.”
Nissany currently sits 18th in the Formula 2 standings while driving for Trident Racing.