Ferrari Academy Driver talent Mick Schumacher is being helped in his development as a Formula 1 driver by the experienced figure of Jock Clear. The son of Michael Schumacher, the seven-time former World Champion, won the 2020 Formula 2 Championship and will make the step up to F1 with Haas for next season.
However, the 21-year-old German remains very much under the auspices of Ferrari as part of their Academy programme – and that brings him into contact with Clear.
Mick Schumacher’s father used to work alongside Clear, who was Nico Rosberg’s race engineer, when he returned from retirement to race for Mercedes between 2010 and 2012.
Previously, the duo had been in direct rivalry when Clear was the race engineer for Jacques Villeneuve in his World Championship-winning season for Williams in 1997, when the Canadian clinched the title at Schumacher and Ferrari’s expense in the final race at Jerez.
Now, Clear, 57, who joined Ferrari for the 2015 F1 campaign, is helping the next generation of the Schumacher family, as outlined by team principal Mattia Binotto.
“We slightly changed the role of Jock in 2020 and he has become a driver coach, a race engineer who helps to get the best out of the drivers,” said Binotto, quoted by Speedweek – “He looks at all aspects – choice of line, braking, acceleration, tyre management. In the past few weeks we have had a few discussions with Jock and will deepen his role. He will no longer be primarily concerned with Charles Leclerc but with all of our young drivers from the academy. That includes Mick Schumacher.”
Quoted by The Express, Mattia Binotto added: “Jock is a great person, a great professional who has been in Ferrari for many years.”
Ross Brawn, who worked closely with both men at Mercedes, summed up the evolution in the relationship between Clear and Michael Schumacher by saying, quoted by Speedweek: “Michael’s work ethic, discipline and dedication carried everyone away. Jock too. A critic of Schumacher became a big fan, even a friend.”
Mattia Binotto has also tipped his cap towards Haas for the role they and Alfa Romeo, both customer teams who are supplied with Ferrari engines, play in giving a chance for the Scuderia’s young drivers to learn their trade: “The presence of client teams seriously helps us out. With their help, we can provide our drivers with the opportunity to master F1 and gain experience,” said Mattia Binotto.