This weekend’s Australian Grand Prix is Clear’s first race in his new role, though Maranello hired the British engineer from Mercedes as early as December 2014. The German constructor insisted upon a gardening leave period for Clear after he had engineered Lewis Hamilton in that year's title-winning campaign.
Clear made his first public appearance for Ferrari during last January’s Pirelli wet tyre test at Paul Ricard and has since taken advantage of winter testing to get further acclimated to his new surroundings.
Asked what sort of impact Clear can have in Ferrari, Raikkonen, who finished Friday’s rain-hit practice sessions with the third fastest time in FP2 replied:
“Obviously he’s a part of the team and I think he’s been a big help for us. It’s good to have him. It’s early days still but I’m sure he can bring us a lot of help, but it’s not just the one person here it’s all the guys together and we work as a team and we are happy to have him.”
With running so limited on the opening day in Melbourne, teams were at least able to get to grips with the FIA’s stricter ban on radio communication. As one of the most seasoned drivers on the grid, Raikkonen has previous experience of racing with little information available.
“I think it was alright,” the 2007 world champion commented. “It’s different but if things are going OK and there are no problems, I don’t think there will be an issue.
“Still there are chances to have small issues or make mistakes, but in an ideal world it shouldn’t change anything. But if you have a small issue than it could be a bit trickier.”