Clement Novalak was crowned the 2019 BRDC British F3 champion at Donington Park today (15 Sept). Here’s how he summed up his season at the end of the day.
Clement, you’re the 2019 BRDC British F3 Champion, has that settled in yet?
“It hasn’t settled in yet, I think I’ll probably realise it tomorrow morning when I wake up, but it’s been a great last couple of days. It has been very stressful, even though I came in with a big cushion in the points, for me it was still down to getting the results and doing everything I could to really stamp my authority on the championship early on, and try and have fun in the last couple of races. Obviously, we had that in the last race. But all in all, I’m really happy.”
How does it feel to be joining the likes of Jackie Stewart, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and others as a British F3 champion?
“It’s definitely a great feeling, some of the previous British F3 champions I’ve been watching since I was a kid, and people like Senna etcetera, I’ve watched their on boards since I grew up because they are the best. So to be part of that list is really amazing and now we can hopefully keep working our way up and look back on this year and be pleased with ourselves.”
How difficult has it been to keep up the levels of consistency you’ve shown all year?
“It’s not been the most difficult, I think it’s been in our mentality since the beginning of the year, we took what we could and gave what we had to. I’m pretty sure I said at the start of the year that we were never going to rest on our laurels if we were in the lead, but we were definitely going to push but not over push and cause accidents or go for stupid manoeuvres. I’m happy to finish all the races this season, and was on top of the positions gained in reverse grids, which shows we did well in those races. It’s been a key factor in the championship but I’m really happy with how it’s gone.”
As you said, a big factor in the championship for you has been the places gained in reverse grid races. How hard has it been to keep things clean in those events?
“It’s definitely been a challenge in the reverse grids, you’re always a bit apprehensive going into them, especially when they’re a bit wet like at Silverstone. All in all those races went really well, we managed to make the moves when we needed them, and score some strong points in those races. It definitely was a key factor in the championship.”
Was the heart in the mouth when you were bouncing over the grass side to side with Hoggard this morning?
“A little bit! I have to say I was squeezed between him and Maldonado and didn’t really have anywhere to go. It was definitely one of those moment where you go like ‘oh God, is this it?!’ But in the end it turned out to be alright and even so, this afternoon I would have won with that sixth place anyway. So all in all I’m really happy with how today went.”
Will there be a celebration this week?
“Yeah 100%! But then it’s straight back to work you know! You’ve got to think about what’s going on next year, what might be in the works and a bit of testing. So I’ll take a couple of nights off probably and have a little party but we will be right back to work very soon!”
What are the plans for the future?
“I’d say in the next 12 months that’s down to how I perform next year. I’m not 100% sure yet what I’ll be doing but once that’s settled I’ll be focused in delivering in that championship as well and hopefully I’ll be going up the racing ladder very soon.”