Cape Town - Although Sebastian Vettel appeared to crack under the
pressure, Jock Clear insists the Ferrari driver "relishes the
pressure" despite losing the title.
Vettel's chances of securing a fifth World title came to
naught at the Mexico Grand Prix when a P4 on the day for Lewis Hamilton handed
the Brit an unassailable lead in the standings.
The Mercedes driver triumphed in a season in which the pendulum
often swung between Ferrari and Mercedes, Vettel and Hamilton.
However, in the end, one mistakes too many from the German
cost him dearly.
Clear, though, reckons he'll come back stronger next season.
"The fact is, drivers of his calibre relish the
pressure," said the Ferrari senior performance engineer. "The top
athletes pit themselves against the best and the pressure is the pressure.
That’s part of the job.
"I think he has enjoyed the season. There have been
highs and lows. I think he said recently that losing the championship in 2009
he found more frustrating.
"I think on the whole, he has come to this battle
willing to take risks, willing to give it his all and we’re part of that.
"We’ve all done our part this year to the ups and
"I think from Seb’s point of view it just gives him
more strength to come back next year and say, ‘This is unfinished
He added: "We look back over the season, we look at the
strengths of what is probably the strongest Ferrari season for 10 years and we
build on those strengths.
"I think the win in Austin is a testament to the fact
that the team does come back and does fight back and we did understand some of
the issues we uncovered in the second third of the season.
"The fact is that over the course of 21 races you have
to score more points than the opposition."
Clear, who previously worked with Hamilton at Mercedes as
well as seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, refused to highlight the
differences between the three or say which is the best.
"We don’t get the opportunity to make the ideal driver.
So they all attack it in a different way. The opposition and the competition of
the hour of the year obviously varies, so with all sportsman it’s very
difficult to make direct comparisons.
"All I can say is that the common theme that all of
these top drivers have is that they are exceptionally focused.
"They are exceptionally sensitive to everything around
them. And that’s not just the car - that’s the support structure and the people
"They require a whole load of things lining up to get
those championships in the bag. And that’s where the team comes in.
"That’s why it’s not just about the driver. It’s not
just about Schumacher or Vettel or Hamilton - it’s about the whole team. So we,
with Seb, will create victories and championships, hopefully, down the line and
it won’t be in the same way as Michael did."