Sunday, December 28, 2014

Jock Clear, Lewis Hamilton's race engineer at Mercedes, moves to Ferrari


The HR office at the Ferrari Formula One team has been exceptionally busy this year, and the churn hasn't ceased. Just this month under new team principal Mauricio Arrivabene – the third team principal in 2014 – lead designer Nikolas Tombazis and engineering director Pat Fry were let go, and tire performance expert Hirohide Hamashima will leave the team at the end of the year.
The HR office at the Ferrari Formula One team has been exceptionally busy this year, and the churn hasn't ceased

Now there's another batch of HR paperwork to be completed, but this is a new hire to join Sebastian Vettel and Esteban GutiƩrrez: Jock Clear, Lewis Hamilton's performance engineer this season at Mercedes AMG Petronas. Clear will take over Pat Fry's vacant role as head of engineering, and brings a Driver's World Championship pedigree with him, having helped Hamilton to his second title and Jacques Villeneuve to his sole title in 1997 with Williams. He hasn't joined the Scuderia yet, though; Ferrari is still negotiating with Mercedes to "secure his services as soon as possible." Clear will work in a totally revamped engineering department and report to technical director and ex-Lotus F1 man James Allison.

The last time Ferrari went an entire season without a win was 1993. The team has attempted to hedge expectations for 2015, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne saying, "I think hopefully within the next 12 months we will remove all the baggage of uncertainty that is going to plague at least the initial phase of 2015." Hope springs yet, though: when Arrivabene was asked what he'd be happy with next year, he said, "two or three wins."