Charles Leclerc with new F1 race engineer in Imola: Don’t start from scratch

End of a long-term partnership: During the two-week break between the Miami GP and the Formula 1 weekend in Imola, a change in an important personnel was announced at Ferrari. Bryan Bozzi replaces Xavier Marcos as Charles Leclerc’s race engineer, who had previously worked with the Monegasque driver since 2019.

On Thursday before the premiere of his new race engineer in Imola, Ferrari driver Leclerc himself also commented on the personnel change: “The decision was made between the team and Xavier,” explained Leclerc. “I assume they had other plans in mind and it was communicated to me straight after Miami.”

Since Leclerc's Ferrari debut, Marcos has been the Monegasque's race engineer, photo: Sutton
Since Leclerc’s Ferrari debut, Marcos has been the Monegasque’s race engineer, photo: Sutton

Leclerc: Communication wasn’t a particular problem before

However, Leclerc did not go into further detail regarding the background to the change during the current season. In the past, the radio messages between Marcos and Leclerc repeatedly drew attention because the communication did not always appear to be smooth. In particular, Marcos’ frequent statement ‘We are checking’ with regard to race strategy, for example, repeatedly caused discussions.

When asked specifically whether improved communication was one of the goals of the change, Leclerc was nebulous. “Communication has always been a big thing since we’ve worked with Xavier. We always try to communicate as much as we can and that’s the way I work to be as informed as possible overall,” said the 129-timer GP starter. At the same time, however, Leclerc made it clear: “Communication has not been a particular problem in the past.”

Charles Leclerc at the Ferrari Film Day in Fiorano
Leclerc is driving a revised SF-24 in Imola, photo: Massimo Pieri / @maxpieri

Leclerc does not expect any teething problems with the new race engineer

Marcos’ new position is unknown at this time. Ferrari only said that he was now working on other important programs within the organization. Leclerc already knows his successor Bryan Bozzi: he previously worked as the 26-year-old’s performance engineer.

“Bryan is a person I have worked with since I came to Ferrari. He has always been my performance engineer, which is why he knows exactly how everything works,” Leclerc said. That’s why the current World Cup third-place finisher doesn’t expect any teething problems with the new collaboration: “It’s not as if I’m starting from scratch and it requires a complete adjustment. It’s been going super smoothly so far and I’m sure it will continue like this and that we will be at 100 percent from this weekend onwards.”

It’s not just Leclerc’s race engineer who is new this weekend: the track in Imola has also undergone some changes since the premier class’s last visit to Emilia-Romagna. Among other things, Formula 1 is trying to combat track limit violations with more gravel beds. You can read all the details in this article:

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