A red flag hampered Free Practice session at Silverstone meaning that teams will have to “gamble” with their setups for the first Sprint Race, and Roy Nissany believes that getting it right will prove key given how tight Qualifying was, with less than a second separating the top 10.

Nissany finished 11th in the opening session, which included two stoppages, before improving to eighth in Qualifying, meaning that he will start from third on the reverse grid Saturday morning.

Speaking after Qualifying, he admitted that the disrupted Free Practice session means the team aren’t completely sure how to attack the opening race, but is confident his DAMS has the pace to keep up with the front runners in what will be a key first few corners.

“I don’t think any of us really got in a proper long run this morning in Free Practice due to the red flags, so it will be a gamble in terms of setup for everyone,” said Nissany. “But so far, the car has been really strong, and I am confident.

“The track consumes a lot of energy, and the layout is tough on the tyres. Therefore, the deg is strong and that’s something that we will have to manage.

Nissany qualfied 8th and will start from 3rd on the reverse grid in Sprint Race 1
Nissany qualfied 8th and will start from 3rd on the reverse grid in Sprint Race 1

“Overtaking will be possible and it will happen, but if I can settle into my position at the start, without overstretching the tyres, then it shouldn't be a very hard job to safely bring a result home.”

Nissany only qualified in the top 10 once in 2020 – fifth in Monza - but has been a regular in the reverse grid positions this year, carving out a name for himself as a solid Friday performer.

And the Israeli says he is loving being “in the game.”

“Qualifying in the top 10 is definitely necessary to make it a proper weekend and not a damage limiting one,” continued Nissany. “Being part of the game this year… yeah, that’s not bad at all. We could have gotten a bit more out of the car - we had two tenths in the pocket as our theoretical best laptime.

“I am satisfied nonetheless. We have a good car with good potential for the weekend. We will focus on a P3 start tomorrow morning and I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight because it’s going to be an early one.”

Nissany has become a regular in the top 10 this season with DAMS
Nissany has become a regular in the top 10 this season with DAMS

A late spin for Robert Shwartzman in Qualifying resulted in a session-ending Red Flag and prevented a final set of flying laps, with just 0.078s separating Nissany from Dan Ticktum in fourth. The Israeli said he’s continually amazed at how fine the margins are in this Championship.

“Imagine that by going less than a tenth faster, I could gain more than three positions,” he said. “That is incredible. It means that very easily, I could have done it. I made a mistake on the first push lap of the second set of tyres and without this mistake, I would have gained a tenth or two and that would have gotten me in the top four.

“Everyone has the I could haves, and I should haves, and these little excuses, but when you realise how close you are to the top three, and how fine, how accurate, how precise you have to be to get that perfect lap, it’s incredible.”