Ferrari’s chief engineer Jock Clear revealed that Ferrari are as passionate as ever and this is something he admires Ferrari for. However, that passionate approach could also harm in some cases, so the fabled Italian squad has to learn how to manage it.
Clear worked for Mercedes where he was in charge of Lewis Hamilton as his race engineer. The Briton left the team at the end of 2014, but had to be on gardening leave for a complete year before he could joined the Scuderia.
The Briton has been already criticized for playing a part in Ferrari’s bad tactical moves this year. However, he feels absolutely perfect at Ferrari and thinks that his team is on the right way to build up a good project for the future.
“From my point of view I have recent knowledge of the opposition and a huge respect for what we are trying to beat effectively,” started Clear.
“Our performance has come under a bit more scrutiny now that Red Bull are putting us under pressure, but again that is a testament to how strong they are as a team. We haven’t lost a huge amount of ground to the leaders.”
The respected engineer thinks Ferrari found the problems it faced in Silverstone. However, he admitted it could take time to cure those issues.
“If you look at it over the course of the last couple of races, in Canada we were very close and in Silverstone we were a long way off.”
“I think we have learned a lot about some of the areas where the car is weak and that has helped us to identify where we need to work and we are under no illusion that Mercedes are going to continue to be strong and Red Bull are going to continue to be strong.”
Clear has a unique position as he worked many years long at Mercedes, the team which has dominated the sport since the introduction of the new hybrid engines in 2014.
“Obviously my own experience at Mercedes I take with me into this position and those sort of insights are really helpful to Ferrari and we've talked about those long and hard – the areas where actually Ferrari are stronger, the areas where Ferrari are weaker, again filling in all those details,” added Clear.
“It doesn’t happen overnight. I was never going to arrive and change things overnight.”
The Briton played down his own role and said he tries to make the car faster on track, but warned everybody to expect him to turn things around at Ferrari.
“Far be it from me to think I’ve got anything like that much influence. I’m just here to try and get the race team to do the best we can with the package we’ve got and make sure we’re feeding back the right things to Ferrari at Maranello.”
Clear also disclosed that there are many fine differences between teams, but the core structure is the same or very similar in all the squads.
“That’s the same structure as all the teams I’ve ever worked at. The dynamic is different, the people are different, but again that’s probably true wherever you go. There are no obvious stark differences that I can share with you, but there are those details that obviously I’ve shared with Ferrari.”
“It’s a pleasure to be part of that passion. Sometimes it’s our Achilles heel, sometimes we know very well that passion can make things quite difficult for you, but on the whole it is just a huge positive and it is a joy to be part of,” concluded Clear.