Williams excited by 'great talent' Ticktum, defends Nissany signing

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Williams have spoken highly of the two new drivers recently signed to their books for 2020.

The first was former Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum, who joined their young driver program just weeks after claiming he was considering ending his motorsport dream.

But now, with another opportunity at a Formula 1 team, the two-time Macau Grand Prix winner has already made a big impression.

“I think it’s going to be really interesting with Dan and we’re looking forward to working with him,” deputy boss Claire Williams speaking to Motorsport Week about Ticktum.

“I know when we put him in our simulator, the guys said he was one of the best drivers they’ve ever seen. I think he’s got great talent and it needs harnessing. We have experience doing that.

“He knows what’s expected of him and, you know, how he needs to behave.

“He’s one person in a team of 750 and we’ve always had the attitude at Williams that no one is more important than anyone else, everyone has to roll their sleeves up and do the job in the way that is expected of them," she added.

“And I think Dan knows and understands that with the experiences that he’s had now, I think he’s matured a lot and is willing to get his head down and just do the job that we’re asking him to do.”

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The second driver they announced was Israeli driver Roy Nissany, who drove for Williams at the post-Grand Prix test in Abu Dhabi last month.

Unlike Ticktum, however, he has joined as an official test driver but given his poor record in F2, many wonder if the Grove-based team is putting money over talent.

"We're a team on a journey back to recovery and we've got to have drivers that have the capability to understand what's going on," Williams argued.

"There's no point putting a driver in a car that you think isn't going to do a good job for you, and particularly when you're in the position that we're in.

"So clearly we're only going to take drivers that we know are going to be able to understand what's going on in the car, to translate that to help with development and Roy proved that when he did the Abu Dhabi test for us at the end of the year."

Claire also brushed off his very slow pace compared to the rest of the drivers by explaining he was only testing parts for evaluation and suggested that in itself spoke to his character.

"I think that's to his credit as well because some drivers can get in the car, who have never been in an F1 car before and go: 'Brilliant. This is my opportunity to show the world what I can do'. And then they go and crash it," she said.

"But what I did see and what I learned from our engineers is that he was incredibly diligent. He came and he spent time with the team. He was a real team player who gave it everything that he needed to. He was around and he talked to people.

"That shouldn't be underestimated how important that can be, and particularly in a team and the situation that our team is in, to have those drivers that all of our people look at and can go, 'well they are putting the effort in, so I am going to put my effort in as well'."