MP Motorsport’s Clément Novalak enjoyed his strongest race to date in the FIA Formula 2 Championship on Sunday in Imola, crossing the line in fourth place. It marked Novalak’s first career points in F2, having competed in the championship at every round since last year’s event in Saudi Arabia.

Novalak started Sunday’s Feature Race from 13th on the grid, and pitted early on to get rid of his super soft tyres and attach the mediums, which took him to the end of the race. In an incident filled outing, Novalak kept his nose clean and crossed the line within touching distance of the podium.

“We scored our first points which was important, to get them on the board,” Novalak said. “It brings us a lot of confidence going forward. In reality I think it was a good race.

“We were quite lucky with the Safety Car at the beginning which allowed us to pit pretty much straight away. To be honest, my long run pace on the second stint was good, but I’m still lacking a little bit in the last sector because from my personal perception, sector one and two are really strong.

“But in a couple of corners (in sector three) I lose so much time that basically it hinders any opportunity for passing on the main straight. There were positives, there were also things to work on. I can be happy to finish in the points, but we’ll keep working.”

Next up on the F2 schedule is Barcelona in May, a track that many of the drivers know well – especially after the recent test sessions that were held there. The Frenchman says that he felt rapid at the in-season test, leaving him confident that he can enjoy another competitive weekend at round four of the campaign.

“I think the Barcelona test was actually quite strong, especially in the long runs. In F2, it’s a little bit less predictable than F3 with the whole strategy and those kind of things. I had fun today (Sunday) so hopefully I’ll have fun in Barcelona.

“We have some knowledge (from Barcelona), but we came to Imola thinking it was going to be nice and relaxed, and it turned out to be a pretty hectic weekend with rain and so on. It is a very unpredictable series, so it’s hard to say what we can achieve.

“But obviously I think Felipe (Drugovich) showed there is extremely strong pace on one lap and also myself and him on the long runs, we were quite quick, at least it seemed so. It’s just testing, but we’re confident.”