CHAMPCAR/CART: Steve Clark joins McLaren's Formula One team

Steve Clark, formerly of the FedEx Championship Auto Racing series PacWest team has taken a position at the McLaren Mercedes Formula One team as Senior Team Test Engineer. "I am glad to be on the McLaren side of the gap for once," Clark said.

Steve Clark, formerly of the FedEx Championship Auto Racing series PacWest team has taken a position at the McLaren Mercedes Formula One team as Senior Team Test Engineer.

"I am glad to be on the McLaren side of the gap for once," Clark said. "I have known a few people at McLaren over the years and joining the team was a combination of several matters, I am not new to them nor they to me, so it feels very good."

Clark is not new to F1; he was with Lotus in the late 80s before moving to Ligier in 1991. He stayed with Ligier in the early nineties as race engineer to Olivier Panis. He then had a stint with Arrows in 1996 workint with Pedro Diniz.

In 1998, Clark moved to the U.S. as the engineer for Alex Zanardi at Chip Ganassi Racing. However, he moved back to Europe to join the Sauber team in 1999; where he worked with Johnny Herbert. In 2000, he returned to CART with PacWest Racing.

During the first week of testing in Barcelona, Kimi Raikkonen had his first drive in the 2001 McLaren with developmental parts as well as trying out Michelin tyres which they will be using in 2002.

"It is a big change, a totally different approach," Clark explained. "Less striking than we thought, and the anticipated differences have not been as bad as we thought. I don't think we are anywhere near exporting them entirely. The end result is a few tenths either way, I adore tyre testing and think it's great. Maybe the decision to change was to be different to Ferrari. We have a lot more work to do and feel confident."

Clark joins the team in time for the launch of the new MP4-17 on Saturday, January 19.

McLaren will continue testing in preparation for the 2002 season which begins in Melbourne, Australia, on March 3rd.

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , IndyCar
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Olivier Panis , Kimi Raikkonen , Alex Zanardi , Chip Ganassi , Steve Clark , Pedro Diniz
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Chip Ganassi Racing