Clear set for key Leclerc role at Ferrari in F1 2019
Senior Ferrari engineer Jock Clear is set to have a “strong influence” on Charles Leclerc during his maiden season with the Formula 1 team in 2019.
Leclerc will be promoted to Ferrari next season to partner four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel following a stellar first campaign in F1 with Sauber.
Clear, who joined Ferrari from its rival Mercedes ahead of the 2016 season, has held leading engineering roles in F1 for over 20 years and has previously worked with world champions Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
It is understood the 55-year-old will move into a key role working alongside Leclerc – possibly as his race engineer – when the Monegasque takes over from the departing Kimi Raikkonen, who in turn is re-joining Sauber.
When directly asked ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix if he would become Leclerc’s race engineer, Clear replied: “It’s not all finalised but at the moment, yes, I will have a strong influence on his side of the garage.
“Whether that is the job title or not, we’ll finally decide upon but certainly I will taking closer attention to him than maybe I would have done on Kimi or Seb up until now.”
Leclerc has impressed in his maiden F1 season, scoring points in seven races so far this year, while he has also made a number of Q3 appearances for the revitalised Sauber squad.
The 21-year-old’s performances have resulted in him being tipped for instant success at the Scuderia, though Ferrari has repeatedly lowered expectations.
Clear believes his experience will help prepare Leclerc for the step up to potentially race-and-championship winning machinery.
“I’ve recently made a long-term commitment to the team, and as such, I will use my skillset wherever we feel that’s best,” Clear explained.
“I have a lot of experience with young drivers and a lot of experience with experienced drivers as well,” he added.
“With Charles coming in, I will help in any way I can to make his life easier, to ease some of the pressure and to make sure that we get the best out of Charles and out of the team as a whole over the next few years.”
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November 10, 2018 at 11:13AM