DAMS driver Roy Nissany is the latest on the Formula 2 grid to talk us through the greatest influences on his career. From family to Formula 1 idols and his early karting days, Nissany recalls several stories about those who have helped him on his way up the motorsport ladder.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
“I have a picture of when I was five years old and I’m reaching over the fence at the Hungarian Grand Prix watching Montoya. I remember people telling me ‘oh you look just like him.’ I used to follow him and I loved how he raced. I think the fact he was in Williams is also quite interesting. I think having childhood heroes helps you when you’re growing up. I remember when he went to McLaren and I remember watching him at Monza being very very fast.”
“It might be a bit of a cliché but my father is a big influence on me. He had a controversial career, started racing at 30 years old and his first time in a go-kart was at 37. He became a Minardi test driver. I followed him to one of the races and it was my first time at Monza. I remember going around the Minardi pit garage and seeing all of the tyres. I was short back then so it looked like a forest of tyres. He wasn’t the fastest so his influence was more on the mental approach, giving me the support that I needed as a kid growing up and it’s still there nowadays."
PETER THE MECHANIC
"I have to point out my first karting mechanic. He was super patient with me while others, I felt anyway, looked at a kid like any other one. I remember Peter was super patient and teaching me stuff, simple things like taking off your gloves before you sort out your helmet so you can adjust your straps. Or getting into the car and getting the right position so you’re comfortable and can immediately head out on track. He taught me foundational things that stayed with me. You remember it forever.
“It was important to build these things up when I was young so I could focus on developing and driving. He was with me for two years at one team. Not everything was as professional in motorsport back then. I met him years later after becoming a professional driver, obviously it was emotional for him and special for me as well. I thanked him for all of those early tips.
“That meeting was about 12 years later, after karting, when I was racing F4 or F3, but now we haven’t seen each other in about 10 years. If you’re reading this Peter, reach out to me and let’s have a coffee.”