Williams official test driver driver Roy Nissany has been hailed as a future world champion by one of his key financial backers.
Son of former racing driver Chanoch Nissany, the 25-year-old Israeli was signed up for development duties with Williams at the start of the season. He will combine the role with a new campaign in the 2020 Formula 2 championship with Trident Racing.
Nissany had his first taste of F1 way back in 2014 when he tried out the Sauber C31 at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo. Last December he took part in post-season testing at Abu Dhabi, and had been pencilled in for three Free Practice sessions in 2020 as well as a rookie test.
Although he currently lacks sufficient points to be eligible for an FIA superlicence, Nissany has already done enough to catch the eye of Canadian businessman Sylvan Adams, who is confidently setting high objectives for Nissany in the coming years.
“The ultimate goal is to win a drivers championship," Adams told Motorsport Magazine last week. "Roy is a winner, why should we set our bar lower than that?
“The fast track plan is for Roy to be an actual F1 driver by 2021,” he added. “I think we’ve got a winner here, so for me the bar is very high.
“Roy is a special talent,” Adams continued. “Williams tested him and they came away so impressed with two things: his actual driving skill and his communication skills.
"His feedback that he was giving to the engineers about the car – he did it in the simulator, he did it in the car in Abu Dhabi – they were really really impressed.
"They basically told me they hadn’t seen a young driver with that kind of poise and cerebral understanding and communication skills to give them back this kind of feedback
“I’m super-excited. For me it was validation hearing the engineers of Williams talk about Roy and extolling his qualities and virtues. I had a notion that he was pretty good and now I really am extremely confident this kid is going places.”
Moreover, Adams declared his loyalty for Williams F1 as a whole, whose deputy team principal Claire Williams badly needs some good news at the moment. He said that the non-corporate, family atmosphere appealed to him
“We’re planning to drop anchor at Williams and earn all of our success with Williams," he stated emphatically. "I think that Claire is determined to restore Williams to its former glory. When we combine forces together, we can conquer the world!"
But combining forces doesn't mean that Adams is seeking to invest in the team, as his compatriots Lawrence Stroll and Michael Latifi had flirted with in the past.
“Lawrence Stroll is a car racing fanatic and always has been all his life, so his son is fulfilling his personal dream," Adams pointed out. "For him to actually own a team and have his son race for that team I would imagine is deeply, deeply satisfying.
“In the case of Nicholas Latifi, I know his father Michael Latifi. Again there’s a long-standing support of his son that he had for many many years," he said. “It is quite a coincidence that [we are] three Canadians.
"I find it a very serendipitous one. We will be able to compare notes and have a friendly competition between us Canadians and see who will ultimately prevail. I like my pick!"
However Adams makes it plain that his chief aim is to raise the profile of Israel as a nation in top-level international sporting championships.
“The idea of seeing the Israeli flag on the car and Roy being beamed to 350m to 400m television viewers every couple of weeks is going to be quite something,” said the 63-year-old property tycoon, who relocated from Canada to Israel four years ago.
“My projects are reaching over the media to reach people, regular people and just show them the country," he continued. "[We want to] say, ‘Look, there we are, this is what we are: in a rough neighbourhood, a very open, tolerant democratic society and we do interesting things.'"
Adams hinted that rather than investing in any single F1 team, his future F1 ambitions might be better achieved by setting up a driver academy in the same style as the Red Bull junior programme overseen by Dr Helmut Marko.
"It’s probably premature for me to talk academies and other things," he acknowledged. "But certainly my track record speaks to wanting to develop the sports or activity I’m involved in and to provide opportunities for the youth of Israel.
“Why shouldn’t we have an academy that generates a pipeline of drivers leading to further success? We have this special case called Roy Nissany, I’m looking at him as possibly an aspirational figure for kids today who are looking at him.”