'Brave' decision enabled Ferrari F1 resurgence - Jock Clear
Ferrari Senior Performance Engineer Jock Clear believes that a “brave” decision in re-addressing its development parts facilitated the team’s recent upturn in form.
Ferrari battled with Mercedes at the front of the pack through the opening half of the campaign and emerged strongly from the summer break, winning in Belgium prior to locking out the front-row in Italy.
But a series of mistakes and setbacks compromised its title challenge while simultaneously Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes hit form, sweeping to four successive wins.
Ferrari struggled to understand an update package introduced during that spell and in the United States reverted to an older specification, with Kimi Raikkonen going on to win.
“I would say our car was at its strongest at around about that time [mid-season] and then we go on to Russia and Japan where we struggled in pure performance terms and we weren’t really in a position to take the fight to them,” said Clear.
“If you pinpoint specific areas, certainly you can highlight where they [Mercedes] were stronger than us and we were stronger than them.
“But again, over the course of a season, we would like to now be in a position where we could win the next two races and win the championship for Seb [Vettel]. Or the Constructors’.
“Unfortunately, what’s gone before, the points are the points – but again, just to reiterate over the course of this season, we haven’t quite got it spot on at every race. The positive is we understand why.
“As I say, those couple of races where we did have a slump, we came back in Austin, we were brave enough to go back on some of the development, and that’s the kind of culture that we want to have now.
“That people are brave enough to say “OK, I think we’ve made a mistake.”
“We go back, we relearn what we thought we understood, and we come back in Austin and we win the race, and we were competitive again in Mexico.
“So that’s the positive to it. The championship position we all know.”
Ferrari can still win the Constructors’ Championship but must out-score Mercedes by 13 points in Brazil to keep the fight alive.