Jock Clear, Lewis Hamilton's performance engineer at Mercedes, to move to Ferrari
Englishman to replace Pat Fry as team's head of engineering
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 31/12/14 11:02am
Jock Clear is to replace the ousted Pat Fry as Ferrari's head of engineering, the Italian team have confirmed.
Clear had been Lewis Hamilton's performance engineer and was cited as being a pivotal influence in the Englishman’s charge to the World Championship title this year.
Ferrari have had a multitude of vacancies to fill after the dismissals of Fry, the head of engineering, and chief designer Nikolas Tombazis last week. Hirohide Hamashima, in charge of tyre performance analysis, will leave at the end of 2014 as new team boss Maurizio Arrivabene clears the decks.
Clear's arrival to take the place of Fry was confirmed by Arrivabene at a press conference at the team's Fiorano test track on Monday, although Ferrari are still negotiating with Mercedes over when the Briton will arrive at Maranello.
"Jock Clear is to take the ex-position of Pat Fry, the role is the same. We are talking now with Mercedes to try to have Jock as soon as possible," Arrivabene said. "We respect agreements and regulations."
Prior to joining the BAR outfit which morphed into Honda, Brawn and, finally, Mercedes, Clear previously worked at Williams where he was the race engineer and close confidant of Jacques Villeneuve during the French-Canadian’s title-winning campaign of 1997.
“If Jock Clear leaves Merc to replace Pat Fry at Ferrari, that's a very good signing,” tweeted Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz last week ahead of the confirmation. “Two drivers titles 17 years apart as engineer, a class act.”
Another Mercedes man, Bob Bell, has also been heavily linked with Ferrari. The Silver Arrows announced Bell’s departure as Technical Director in April, confirming that Bell would depart at the conclusion of 2014 'with the intention of pursuing new challenges outside the company'.
However, Arrivabene intimated on Monday that there would be no further arrivals beyond Clear.
"The team is there. There is no great news to be announced, no surprises," he was quoted as saying by Reuters. "We have to believe in the people we have."