Barcelona, Spain, 12 May 2023 –  Clément Novalak Makes Steady Progress During Three-Day Test


FIA Formula 2 was back in action this week for the one and only in-season test of the 2023 season, seeing Clément Novalak make a return to a circuit he is very familiar with.  Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya played host to this week’s test in Barcelona, Spain, where a mixture of sunny and rainy conditions were featured during the three-day test.  Fresh off scoring the first points of his Sophomore campaign, the Frenchman was eager to take advantage of the test to fine-tune his #21 Trident Motorsports machine.

The in-season test opened Wednesday morning to clear, cool temperatures with Clément and his team deciding to use the entirety of the week’s first day on race simulations.  Logging in over 40 laps in the morning, the Frenchman was out on track longer than any other driver, testing multiple suspension setups to find the right balance for long-distance stints.  The afternoon session featured clear skies and a warmer track, seeing Clément continue with long-run testing.  He wouldn’t change his hard compound tires and would be fourth-fastest on the harder tires, while continuing to feel more confident with the setup changes.  A positive first day of testing ended with a lengthy debrief between Clément and his engineers, discussing what changes the Frenchman was most comfortable with.

The skies opened up Thursday morning, drenching the circuit for the week’s second day of testing.  Clément used this time to find the limit of his Trident Motorsport machine in the wet, setting the eight-quickest time of the session in the process.  On his nineteenth lap he would find the gravel trap, which brought a premature end to his morning session, but would still finish with the eight-quickest time of the morning.  The sun was shining by the time the afternoon session got underway, seeing a dry track and an eager Clément attacking the circuit immediately for his first performance runs of the test.  The Frenchman would eventually crack the 1:25 barrier midway through the session while on the yellow-walled medium compound tires.  The setup changes made on Wednesday seemed to be working, with Clément ending the second day of the test with the tenth-fastest time after touring the circuit a further thirty-two laps.

The final day of the pre-season test began Friday morning with the sun shining and an eager Clément push immediately as the session went green.  An early lap time of 1:25.595 would be his best of the morning session, seeing him continue to work to perfect the feel of his Trident car on performance runs.  He would then shift his focus to race simulation in preparation for the afternoon session later in the day.  During the break between sessions, clouds covered the circuit and rain began to fall, drenching the circuit and delaying the Frenchman’s need to return to testing. After a lengthy red flag, Clément would get back on the circuit with the track finally drying, lighting up the timing screen with a purple third-sector and the second-fastest lap of the test’s final session.  Clément would end his test after fourteen laps around the circuit, feeling very confident with the changes made during the three-day test and 685 total KM driven during the week.

Clément made steady progress and maximized his time behind the wheel of his Trident Motorsport car before racing resumes next week; logging in a total of 147 laps and over 685 KM driven around Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya during the three-day test.  With clear gains made during the duration of the final official test of the season, the Frenchman is happy with the progress made, and feels confident that he is able to make the car behave in accordance to what he wants it to achieve.  During the race simulations, Clément was consistently in the top five, with more work needed to be done on performance runs.  The 2023 FIA Formula 2 championship returns next week, seeing Round 5 head to Imola, Italy, 19-21 May.


“I am very pleased with the steps made during the last three days in Barcelona.  Working with my engineers on tire management has proved very beneficial, especially with the gains made on the race simulations.  There are still a few areas which I need to put more focus in, especially qualifying, but overall I feel quite confident with my car.  I’m very much looking forward to Imola, where I hope to have a smooth weekend and a strong qualifying to set myself up for success.”


Wednesday 10 May:  Morning – 15th, 1:26.606, 42 Laps | Afternoon – 17th, 1:26.718, 11 Laps

Thursday 11 May:  Morning – 8th, 1:37.956, 18 Laps | Afternoon – 10th, 1:25.246, 32 Laps

Friday 12 May:  Morning – 11th, 1:25.981.595, 30 Laps | Afternoon – 2nd, 1:26.665, 14 Laps