After two seasons with DAMS, Roy Nissany has headed over to pastures new in 2023, linking up with PHM Racing by Charouz, alongside rookie teammate Brad Benavides.
As the German outfit begin to find their feet, the Israeli driver is purposeful in his outlook – set on putting his vast experience to good use to help get the team on the best foot forward from the outset.
On that front, things appear to be positive after post-season testing at the Yas Marina Circuit last November, where Nissany recorded top 10 times in four out of the six sessions. Now looking ahead to the upcoming campaign, he’s ready to buckle down and fully focus on the task ahead.
“I’m feeling determined, knowing what I have to do and working very precisely, treating the season like a very specific job that I have to do,” he remarked.
“The three days we did in Abu Dhabi were really, really good – above expectations in terms of the car, the team and everything. It’s always hard to leave a family, especially one like DAMS, but I’ve been welcomed amazingly, so I’m looking forward to working with them all this year.
The 28-year-old has four seasons of Formula 2 experience under his belt after competing for the likes of DAMS, Trident and Campos Racing. With the know-how already locked down, Nissany is eager to put his own stamp on things and take advantage of the expertise within the team in order to perfect their package ahead of the new season.
“I think a lot of my experience from the past years was already applied in the Abu Dhabi test and we saw really good results thanks to it. In contrast to a long existing team with a certain philosophy like DAMS, here I can apply more of my knowledge, and we can adapt the car more to kind of my liking together. So, we work in harmony between the engineers’ philosophy and my thinking and experience, and the product will be the fruit of our cooperation.”
Last year saw Nissany claim eight points finishes to his name including a double points finish at the Yas Marina season finale after securing second in an impressive DAMS front-row lockout in Qualifying.
Recognising that his one-lap pace may have held him back from performing consistently, he says he has been targeting several key areas to get himself into the best possible shape both physically and mentally.
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“What I was lacking last year was putting a lap together in Qualifying and in terms of the format, this is one of the most important keys to start the weekend. It might have come from not a good enough Free Practice and that might have come from maybe a wrong preparation.
“All these things I’ve had the time now over the winter break to think them through and to make sure that when I come to a race weekend in Free Practice and then directly in Qualifying, I’m able to put the lap together so I’m placing myself in a good place. Obviously within the top 10 for the weekend, that will be the key.”
He added: “In terms of the physical side, throughout the year we were monitoring my muscles and stamina to see what’s better and what’s worse each weekend. Then by the end of the year, we made a report to know what we can focus on because my body is already obviously adapted to driving the car, but always there will be some small pain after the race and maybe one muscle weaker than the other. Now, we can be sure that by the start of the season, my body is perfectly ready, and we minimize any weakness or pain.”
That physical preparation will be of paramount importance, as F2 heads to some of its most demanding circuits early on in the 14-round season. Not only that, drivers and teams will be charting new territory as the Championship ventures to Melbourne for the first time.
No stranger to unfamiliar tracks, Nissany acknowledges that the opening session at the Albert Park Circuit is likely to be one of the most important Practices of the year. Whilst relishing the opportunity to adapt under pressure, he believes the unknown element will soon wear off due to the already existing reference points removing some of the uncertainty beforehand.
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“We did it with Jeddah in 2021 and it seemed to be that everyone got up to speed pretty quickly. I think since it’s an existing circuit everyone will have proper simulator tracks and I know the track already very good from the simulator, so we will be up to speed in no time. There will be no time for sightseeing, and we know the car, so we know its limits and it’s just about putting the puzzle together.
“There are some walls around and some small runoff areas, so we have to hope that we will not get a lot of Red Flags. But in the end, it will be similar for everyone, so I like this kind of challenge.”