Swapping Carlin for Trident, Clément Novalak is set to embark on his second season of Formula 3. We get to know the 20-year-old a little better with an inside look at his biggest achievements, his racing heroes, and his favourite tracks.
NAME: Clément Novalak DATE OF BIRTH: 23/12/2000 NATIONALITY: French 2021 TEAM: Trident
FIRST RACING MEMORY
`I think my first significant memory is probably going to the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix with my dad. I'd not really done much racing beforehand and I think that was the moment when I really fell in love with racing.
“It was a mega experience. That was the first time that I saw and heard the noise of the cars, so loud, so fast and so powerful, and it was from that moment onwards when my journey really started. We were on the main straight, so it wasn’t even like we were seeing great action, and I don’t actually even remember being there, but it was a cool day.
“I had dabbled in karting before that race, but that was the big moment when I said 'I want to do this, this is my thing.' My dad was always very down to earth and told me how much I would need to sacrifice, adding that I would need a bit of luck as well, but he was happy for me to start. That was the moment when I really decided to do it.”
“I like attacking the brakes, often a little bit too much. I'm defiantly a late breaker, although this is sometimes at the compromise of my exits, which is an aspect of my driving that I am working on.
“I am quite aggressive as well, not so much in terms of my driving style, but when racing with others because you have to assert yourself, especially coming into a championship like Formula 3 where there is so much talent and so many big names. You want to let them to know that you are there.
“Compared to teammates in previous championships, I have always been quite fast in high speed corners, but that can all change depending on your teammate. Personally, I like changing teammates, because you can compare your style to theirs and it gives you someone different work off and challenge yourself against.”
BIGGEST RACING ACHIEVEMENT
“That all depends on whether you look at karting or cars. If I had to chose, then I would say the Championship that I won in 2019, BRDC British Formula 3. It is a tremendously difficult championship to win and it was very, very competitive - more than people realise.
“My achievements in karting would be up there as well, like the WSK world series that I won a couple of times, once in juniors and once in seniors – that was a bit thing for me.
“My main objective has never really been to win so much, but to learn as much as I can and to give my all. I never put too much pressure on myself and I don't tend to look back at my achievements, I focus on looking forwards.”
“The first one is very mainstream, Ayrton Senna. He’s a favourite for a lot of drivers, but for good reason. The big one that really comes to mind for me is Jim Clarke, who I think was a spectacular driver, especially in his day when racing was a lot more dangerous.
“He was extremely effective in so many different cars and that’s something that I’m trying to work on myself. I want to be adaptable to different cars and I think Jim Clarke is probably the big one who comes to mind in that sense.”
FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE F3 CALENDAR
“This one is difficult because there are a lot of really cool tracks. Spa is obviously a great circuit, but it isn't ever going to be the same after the tragic events of 2019. In terms of the actual track it’s great – it’s technical and fast, you get slow speed corners and you get high speed corners too.
“I think Barcelona is really cool and it's got a lot of history now. If I had to choose one track from last season, then I would go for Monza - it’s such a cool experience and you race at such high speed. The Italian fans are special as well."