Ferrari senior performance engineer Jock Clear says Sebastian Vettel's contribution to the team is far greater than what he does on the race track.
Clear joined Ferrari this season after a year on gardening leave following his decision to leave Mercedes for Maranello. He worked with Michael Schumacher at Mercedes and says the seven-time world champion's high regard for Vettel was one of the reasons he was relishing his return to work in 2016.
"I knew a little bit about him before," Clear said. "Having worked with Michael a few years ago, he was a good friend of Michael's and I remember well that Michael spoke very highly of him when we were all working together. So I was excited about this opportunity as I was about working with Kimi [Raikkonen], and Seb has been everything I was expecting of him."
Vettel claimed Ferrari's three wins last season and led for most of the Australian Grand Prix as the Italian team proved the steps forward it has made over the winter. Clear says Vettel also plays an important role for the team when he is not in the car.
"He is a four-time world champion and that shines through whenever you see him in the garage, in the car, or in the factory, or in the simulator. He knows how to bring the best out of people. He knows how to drag the team forward. He knows how to communicate and those aspects of being an F1 racing driver are so critical to the modern F1 team driving forward.
"It is a team effort and they do carry a huge responsibility of motivation and direction, and I know that Seb understands that. You can see that what be bring to the part is just invaluable and that is what singles out the world champions from the other guys in the pit lane. They just know how it works and Seb has all of that and more."