Nissany to replace Russell in France FP1 session

Date published: June 15 2021 - Henry Valantine

Roy Nissany, Williams test driver

Williams has confirmed test driver Roy Nissany will use George Russell’s car in the first free practice session at the French Grand Prix this weekend.

Nissany is currently in his second year as Williams’ test driver, taking on the role alongside his commitments competing in Formula 2. This will the 26-year-old’s second outing of the season in the FW43B, having taken the reins of Russell’s machine in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix last month.

While rumours have been circling about Russell’s potential move to Mercedes and gathering momentum in recent days, the Briton will be sitting out of the first practice session at Paul Ricard in the second of three planned outings for Nissany this season.

“I can’t wait to be back in the car, it’s very addictive!” Nissany said. “Circuit Paul Ricard is a special track for me, I love the layout and have great memories from there.

“The last sector is usually very challenging, and I can’t wait to experience it in the FW43B.”

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Head of vehicle performance Dave Robson has openly admitted that Russell would be a “massive loss” to Williams if he was to leave the team at the end of the season – but he is focusing on the here and now ahead of the French Grand Prix.

“This weekend we welcome back Roy Nissany who will drive George’s car in FP1,” Robson added. “As usual, Roy will take an active role in our engineering programme, further evaluating some of the components that we introduced in Azerbaijan.

“His experience of driving at this circuit and his feeling for the car will help us understand the details of the new parts.

“Nicholas will follow a similar programme in FP1, mixing his race preparation with some component testing. George will be back in the car for FP2 and will concentrate on his race preparation.”

While Russell has been a regular presence in Q2 so far this season, the team are still yet to get off the mark in the Constructors’ Championship in another difficult time for the team – but the added upgrades will instil hope at Williams that they can bring themselves into points contention in the upcoming races.

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