While he claimed a podium finish that was ultimately taken away due to his rear tyre pressures being below the limit required, Clément Novalak is riding high after a positive weekend in Spielberg last time out. The Trident driver arrives at Silverstone on the back of a confidence-boosting performance despite not having the points to show for it.

The Austrian weekend was a good step for the Italian team says Novalak, with improved race pace a hugely positive sign heading into Round 9. Having dealt with the disappointment of losing his podium, it’s all eyes on Silverstone and a weekend he hopes will be a continuation of his Spielberg form.

“I think we made a big step forward, we had a few things that we've been working on for quite a while on the car that we hadn't been able to show and unfortunately, we didn't show it in Qualifying, but I think definitely in terms of race pace, we were much, much better.

“We also had a pretty good race on Sunday starting quite far back and finishing just outside the points, and strategy not going the right way for us. So, I think there was definitely some performance. Now we have to try and reproduce the same pace again this time. This time I'm actually keeping it but I was good to be as tough as the emotions were last weekend, it was good to finally put in at least a very positive showing and see that we're heading in the right direction.”

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After a week to digest the disappointment of losing his P3 finish in the Sprint Race, Novalak says that it is out of mind and he is solely focused on what he can bring this time around. The Trident man says that compared to Spielberg pole-sitter Victor Martins, the step that the team has taken in terms of its race pace is a hugely important step, and that repeating it could lead to more top 10 finishes.

“In terms of performance gain, what the disqualification turned out to be for - the infringement didn't actually gain anything. So my pace was there, and was good enough to be on the podium. I compared myself to Victor who was in front of me and put it on pole the day before, and we were very, very closely matched. So there's a lot of positives to take from a race like that.

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“Obviously, Qualifying is probably the most important time of the weekend and it's the one thing we haven't nailed yet, but I'm pretty sure as soon as we do, then we're in position to fight for strong points in both races again.”

In Silverstone, drivers will be tackling a different type of circuit compared to the Red Bull Ring but Novalak is still optimistic ahead of the weekend.

While he has the improved confidence levels stemming from his strong performance last time out, the Frenchman expects some classic British summertime weather to come into play.

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“Silverstone is a different type of layout, but I guess it's been very difficult to predict who could be on pole this year because practically every single round, it’s a different driver and different team and so on. So there’s always a lot of, not necessarily doubts, but unknowns coming into a weekend and this one's full of them as well. We don't know where the weather is gonna go.

“It's classic British summer. We're in July and still wearing jackets, but I think in the end, we can be confident that we can take a step forward and hopefully do a good job in Quali and then the races.”

“There's a lot of high-speed corners. Generally speaking, with this car when you make a mistake in high-speed sections, it bites. And not only that, I think it's super technical. It's not easy to set up because you do have your high-speed corners like Maggotts and Becketts, Copse and so on. But you've also got some slower sections where the car needs to be strong as well. So there's a compromise to be found that we can hopefully find.”

Reflecting on the season so far and the most recent round, Novalak says that the key theme has been consistency, or a lack of it. Trident has scored points in consecutive rounds just once so far this season, but he believes that the team has made improvements in the races which will serve as a great platform around Silverstone and beyond.

“I think we're heading in the right direction. I wouldn't say it's a consistent thing yet but I'm pretty sure everybody's struggling a little bit this year to be super consistent. In terms of our pace, I think when we get it right, we've gone in the right direction. But finding consistency I think is key for the rest of year.”