Ferrari academy driver coach Jock Clear has conceded his surprise at Mick Schumacher's "out and out speed" in his rookie Formula 1 season.
In the majority of championships contested in his junior career, Schumacher has taken one year to adapt to the series before finding success in his second season.
With this in mind, Schumacher's nine-two lead over Haas team-mate Nikita Mazepin in races and in qualifying has impressed Clear.
"[I'm] somewhat surprised," Clear to the Beyond the Grid podcast.
"We've worked with him for quite a while now at Ferrari in the driver academy so we know him quite well.
"It will be no surprise to him to hear that often the criticism that was levelled at him in the smaller formulae was that he takes quite a while to get up to speed.
"He's not someone who is going to get in it and make you go 'Bam, this kid's quick'.
"But give him a second year in the formula and he really starts to come good and his consistency starts to shine through.
"Actually, I'm quite impressed with his out and out speed this year, to be honest."
Explaining he had told people of his expectation that Mazepin would be the quicker Haas driver in the opening phase of the season, Clear added that Schumacher's ability to act on feedback is one of his best traits.
"It was an area that we identified and it's an area that Mick has addressed and I think that is his best trait at the moment," said Clear.
"You tell him something once and he is on it, he deals with it. That will serve him very, very well.
"Intelligent drivers are such a pleasure to work with and they are fundamentally self-motivating because as soon as you give them something to learn and something to improve and they do so, they just get even more engaged."
What do you think?
I don't understand why you are surprised that Mick is intelligent and picks information up quickly - he is his father's son!
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