Williams have signed Israeli driver Roy Nissany as their official test driver for 2020. The deal, which includes three free practice outings believed to be bringing in a significant sponsorship package.
In W Series champion Jamie Chadwick and two-time Macau GP winner Dan Ticktum, Williams have two very handy development drivers already in their ranks but, with the addition of Nissany, it now looks like time in the seat will have to wait another year for the British drivers.
Nissany last raced competitively in 2018 when racing in Formula 2. The 25-year-old Israeli scored just a single point across the season to finish the year in position 22 of 24 - only Ticktum, who competed in just two races, and Niko Kari, who raced in four, finishing beneath him.
Coupled with the signing of race driver Nicholas Latifi, Williams are showing their desperation to recoup some of the sponsorship lost from not retaining Robert Kubica for a second year.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Roy Nissany to ROKiT Williams Racing in the role of our Official Test Driver," said deputy team principal Claire Williams.
"Roy demonstrated his capabilities driving in the post-season Abu Dhabi test last year and we were extremely impressed with what he could do in a short space of time. He is a hard-working individual who we are excited to be working with this year.”
For Nissany, the move is an unexpected route back into the Formula One paddock. With speculation already building about a possible switch for George Russell to Mercedes in 2021, his sponsorship package could well ensure that, if that speculated move does happen, he has a race seat in one years time.
“I am thrilled to become Official Test Driver for ROKiT Williams Racing," said Nissany. "This is also a landmark for motorsport in Israel. When I tested for the team in Abu Dhabi in December, I instantly felt comfortable in the car and part of the team.
"The experience that I will gain this year, immersing myself with Williams will prove invaluable and I’m looking forward to getting started, both on and off the track.”