Lewis Hamilton’s former right-hand man tasked with leading Mick Schumacher to F1 glory

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When Lewis Hamilton first arrived at Mercedes in 2013, it took the British star a while to find his feet. But he eventually secured success – and Jock Clear was influential in his rise.

Clock may not be a household name to your average sports fan, given engineers go about their business quietly and prefer to stay out of the limelight.

But to the Formula One fraternity, the Portsmouth-born petrolhead has established himself as one of the most influential figures behind the scenes.

His F1 career has seen him work with former world champions Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve, as well as David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello.

More recently, he was part of the Mercedes set-up which Hamilton joined when he made the controversial decision to leave McLaren for the 2013 season.

Hamilton’s first year was a learning curve, as Mercedes struggled to compete with Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel ultimately romped to his fourth consecutive world drivers’ championship.

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But once the turbo-hybrid rules were introduced for the 2014 season, Mercedes suddenly became competitors and no-one could match their pace.

At the time, Clear was Hamilton’s senior performance engineer and effectively assisted his race engineer, the primary contact with the driver, with data analysis.

Widely regarded as a key member of Hamilton’s team, they achieved success together when Hamilton romped to a world title triumph in 2014; his first with Mercedes.

Clear then stunned Mercedes by handing his resignation at the end of that season, opting to join the team’s fierce title rivals Ferrari.

After a lengthy notice period, he joined Ferrari’s senior trackside engineering group in 2015 and in 2019, was tasked with helping Charles Leclerc find his feet with the team.

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And now the experienced F1 chief will take on an enhanced driver coaching role with the Italian giants, which will see him guide their younger drivers including Mick Schumacher.

Schumacher Jnr, the son of seven-time world champion Michael, is part of the famed Ferrari Driver Academy and is preparing for his F1 debut with Haas this season.

Clear’s expanded role will see him nurture Ferrari’s talent in a bid to help them return to their heyday, with Schumacher highly-regarded by the team.

Team Principal Mattia Binotto explained: “Jock Clear is a great person and great professional, and has been in Ferrari for many years.

“His role in 2020 was being driver coach. The driver coach is an engineer who is supporting the drivers in order to perform in terms of driving to their best.

“He looks at their lines, looks at the way they are braking through the corner, accelerating, and managing tyres.

“They are there to support the race engineers, performance engineers and drivers, to make sure that the driver is developing well.

“We had some chats with Jock in the past weeks and we would like to develop him even more as a driver coach, not only for Charles but looking ahead at the future to our own young driver line-up we have got at the Ferrari Driver Academy.

“We’ve got Mick in Haas starting his experience in F1, but we’ve got still young drivers competing in F2 – like for example Robert Shwartzman. And there is Callum Ilott, who will be our test driver, will do simulator, and will do free practices.

“So the role of Jock will be to assist all these drivers to develop themselves as drivers, and try to exploit the most of their potential.”

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