Williams’ F2 driver banned after crash takes him over penalty point threshold

Sam Cooper
The Williams Formula 1 Team badge. Spain, February 2022.

Williams’ Roy Nissany has become the third Formula 2 driver banned this year after an incident at the Dutch Grand Prix weekend.

The Safety Car was deployed after Liam Lawson’s car crashed into the barrier during the opening lap of the feature race at Zandvoort.

Nissany and David Beckmann then jostled for position while driving behind the Safety Car, with both believing they were ahead at the time of the Safety Car deployment.

Beckmann accelerated to clear Nissany but in doing so, hit Marino Sato, leaving the Van Amersfoort Racing driver with a broken front wing. Both drivers were penalised for what the stewards described as “driving in a dangerous manner whilst the Safety Car was deployed”.

After reviewing the video evidence, the stewards gave both drivers a 10-second time penalty as well as two penalty points added to their record.

In their statement, the stewards reminded both drivers it is not for them to decide who was in front at the time of a Safety Car deployment.

“Having considered the matter extensively, the Stewards determined Car 16 (Nissany) and Car 24 (Beckmann) were driving side by side behind Car 4 (Sato). Car 24 had decided he was in front of Car 16 when the Safety Car was deployed, so he pushed to stay in front. Whilst doing so, Car 24 collided with the rear of Car 4.

“The Stewards remind the Driver it is not up to him to re-establish the right order behind a Safety Car and it is dangerous to drive side by side whilst the Safety Car is deployed.”

Nissany went on to finish last of the classified runners with Beckmann one spot above him.

The addition of two points takes Nissany to 13, one more than the 12-point limit which generates an automatic one-race ban. As a result, the 27-year-old will sit out the F2 races in Monza this weekend, the penultimate weekend of the season.

Nissany did not collect any penalty points in the first four rounds but since Monaco, has added enough to give him a ban.

The Israeli becomes the third F2 driver this season to pick up a ban, with Van Amersfoort Racing driver Amaury Cordeel sitting out the Silverstone round while Campos’ Olli Caldwell missed out at Spa.

While bans in F2 are becoming increasingly common, no Formula 1 driver has ever had to sit out a race for this reason. Currently, Championship leader Max Verstappen is alongside Pierre Gasly with the highest total of seven points. However, two of Verstappen’s penalty points will expire on September 12.