Israel Start-Up Nation have announced a partnership with the Williams Formula 1 racing team, as Israeli driver Roy Nissany was presented as test driver for the British team in Tel-Aviv on Wednesday.
The partnership, the third of its kind in pro cycling currently, will see cross marketing and product development shared across the two teams. The 2020 Williams F1 car will also feature an Israel Start-Up Nation logo on the nose.
"The Williams car will feature the Israel Start-Up Nation logo, and there will be cross-marketing and product development between the two programs," said Israel Start-Up Nation co-owner Sylvan Adams. "ISN is the third professional cycling program to have a collaboration with an F1 team, after Mercedes' partnership with team Ineos and the Bahrain-McLaren joint venture.
"Roy Nissany is a longtime friend of the two Israeli 'Guys' on Israel Start-Up Nation – Guy Sagiv and Guy Niv – making this partnership extra sweet. I am hoping to earn ISN new fans from the F1 world, and conversely, the same for Williams amongst ISN's many supporters. 2020 will be an exciting year."
Israel Start-Up Nation has moved up to the WorldTour for 2020 after spending the past three years at Pro Continental level. In 2018 they took part in their first Grand Tour as the Giro d'Italia started in Israel, while this year they've signalled their ambitions to make a splash in cycling's top division by signing Dan Martin, André Greipel and Nils Politt, among others.
News of the partnership follows two similar collaborations in recent times. In December, Team Ineos announced a partnership with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team, which has won the last six constructors championships in the sport. The teams will collaborate in areas such as engineering, human science and data analysis.
Long-running F1 team McLaren are also involved in the sport, partnering with Bahrain-Merida for the 2018 season before taking over from Merida as co-sponsor for 2020. The Bahrain McLaren partnership is based on similar goals to those stated by Ineos and Mercedes.
Cycling and Formula 1 have an entwined history that stretches back much further than the past few years, too. Italian team Ferrari have collaborated with bike manufacturers Colnago and Bianchi, while McLaren worked with Specialized to develop a special edition Venge aero bike.
Four-time Olympic hand-cycling gold medallist Alex Zanardi raced for several F1 teams, including Williams, in the 1990s before losing his legs in a CART crash in 2001 and later switching sports. Meanwhile, the 2018 Tour de France saw riders line up in an F1-style grid start for the 65km stage 17, won by Nairo Quintana.
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