Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams is backing Israeli driver Roy Nissany with the goal of making him World Champion with Williams.
When it comes to Williams there has long been an association with wealthy Canadians.
In 1997 they took Jacques Villeneuve to his only World Championship, whilst more recently Lance Stroll debuted with the team thanks to the backing of his billionaire father Lawrence, and the same is now happening with Nicholas Latifi with his father Michael funding the team and his son’s ambitions.
And Adams is the latest tycoon from the country to take an interest in Williams, specifically their reserve driver Nissany.
Adams holds both Canadian and Israeli citizenship, so that provides an obvious link to Nissany who was born in Israel.
But working with a driver who has no F1 experience yet and a team that has propped up the Constructors’ Championship for the last two years, his goals are ambitious.
He wants to make Nissany World Champion, and “conquer the world” with Williams.
Speaking to Motor Sport, he said: “The ultimate goal is to win a Drivers’ Championship.
“Roy is a winner – why should we set our bar lower than that?
“We’re planning to drop anchor at Williams and earn all of our success with Williams.
“I think that Claire [Williams] is determined to restore Williams to its former glory. When we combine forces together, we can conquer the world.”
Williams are actively looking for funding, but Adams has no interest in pumping money into Williams, instead he just wants to bring an Israeli presence to the grid.
“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,” he said.
“My projects are reaching over the media to reach people, regular people and just show them the country and 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.”
Nissany will need to gain the required superlicence points if he is to make it into F1 for 2021, and that means finishing in the top three of this years’ F2 Championship.
But Adams certainly has faith in his client, and looking into the future he would like Nissany to pave the way for an Israeli driver academy.
“The fast track plan is for Roy to be an actual F1 driver by 2021,” he confirmed.
“I think we’ve got a winner here, so for me the bar is very high.
“I look at this and I say it’s probably premature for me to talk academies and other things but certainly my track record speaks to wanting to develop the sports or activity I’m involved in and to provide opportunity 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.”
After scoring just one point in the 2018 F2 Championship, Nissany sought out Adams’ guidance, and after taking a break in 2019 to recover from an injury he tested for Williams in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year.
Adams said it was Nissany’s “actual driving skills” and “communication” which prompted Williams to sign him as a test driver, and he will also compete in the 2020 F2 season with Trident.
“Williams tested him and they came away so impressed with two things: his actual driving skill and his communication skills,” he revealed.
“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 I think this kid is going places.”