Ahead of his first full season with MP Motorsport in Formula 2, French rookie Clément Novalak says he’s been making the most of his teammate Felipe Drugovich’s experience in the second tier, using the Brazilian as a measuring stick for his own performances.

Novalak got a head-start on his 2022 preparations when he made his debut in the final two rounds of the 2021 campaign with MP and has since used the five-and-a-half days of testing to hone his skills and learn from Drugovich.

“With two years of experience in F2, Drugo (Felipe Drugovich) is showing me the potential of the car and what things I need to improve on,” explained Novalak. “I think that is a great thing for me to have this early on in the year, as it means that I am able to work on those things ahead of the first round.

“We’ve both been aching to get back in the car - I think pretty much everyone on the grid has. I have settled in well with the team. We had the pleasure of spending the last two rounds of last season together, which was nice and means that it is not completely new.

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Novalak debuted for MP Motorsport in the final two rounds of 2022
Novalak debuted for MP Motorsport in the final two rounds of 2022

“For every driver that is making their first Formula 2 start in Bahrain in a couple of weeks, it is always going to be a daunting experience. You are in a bigger car, you've got more power, and the starts are very tricky with this car. I know it isn't much but hopefully, two weekends of race experience can be useful and mean that we can start on the right foot.”

Novalak impressed during his first two rounds of F2, qualifying a strong 12th on his debut in Jeddah. He could have even notched his first points were it not for an unfortunate four-car collision in the second Sprint Race of the same round.

Despite the promise shown in his first two rounds of F2, Novalak said that his goals for the season are unchanged, with the 2021 Formula 3 title contender reluctant to set any specific targets ahead of the opening round.

“I am not going to say it is like Formula 1 because the cars are a lot closer, but you never know until you get to Qualifying where you are in the pecking order,” he continued. “I am not setting myself any goals. I am more looking to do the best job I can.

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Novalak will compete alongside Drugovich in 2022
Novalak will compete alongside Drugovich in 2022

“I want to maximise what I have got with me and underneath me in the car and hopefully that can turn into good results.”

It was also announced during the test at Bahrain that Novalak will have a two-time Formula 1 World Champion in his corner this season, with the 22-year-old signed by Fernando Alonso’s new talent management company, A14.

Discussing the benefits that will come from being managed by the Alpine F1 driver, Novalak said: “It is massively beneficial. I might have five years’ experience in a car, but I think he has probably got about five times that.

“It is hugely useful. All of his contacts and experience in the sport can be massively beneficial for me and help me to make the right choices moving forwards. It is an honour as well because he is one of those drivers who, when I was eight years old, I was looking up to, and now I am sort of working alongside him, which is nice.”