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Leclerc Discusses Race Engineer Swap and Ferrari’s Strategic Shifts Ahead of Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc Reveals Surprising Shift in Race Engineer Role

Charles Leclerc Shares Insights on Xavi Marcos’ New Position and Ferrari’s Enhancements

Charles Leclerc has affirmed that the choice to change his race engineer was made by Ferrari.

This weekend, as the F1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix unfolds, Charles Leclerc will have Bryan Bozzi communicating with him via the team radio, a role that was previously filled by Xavi Marcos for several years.

The Ferrari driver denied initiating the decision to reorganize the team.

"Clearly, the competition is close at the front and every little detail counts," Leclerc noted while in Imola.

"Nonetheless, the choice was a joint agreement between the squad and Xavi. It seems they had different intentions."

I was informed just after Miami.

With that being said, Bryan, who will assume Xavi's duties moving forward, is someone I've collaborated with since my start at Ferrari.

"He's perpetually been the architect of my performance, thoroughly understanding the mechanics of it all."

"I'm not beginning from scratch, so the adjustment hasn't been difficult at all. So far, everything has been progressing seamlessly, and I'm confident it will keep going smoothly. We're aiming to be operating at full capacity by this weekend. That's the extent of what I can share."

Since Leclerc joined Ferrari in 2019, he and Marcos have collaborated, yet their partnership is marked by numerous disputes broadcasted over the team radio.

Recently, they engaged in a tense argument during the F1 Chinese Grand Prix.

"Leclerc mentioned, 'Ever since collaborating with Xavi, communication has been a significant aspect for us.'"

"We consistently strive to maintain open communication. My approach is to ensure a comprehensive understanding by doing so.

"Like I mentioned earlier, our priority is to ensure a seamless transition first, followed by concentrating on our key interests. I don't believe there were significant issues before."

The decision for the modification was made internally by the team and could be seen as the most recent adjustment implemented by team principal Fred Vasseur.

Vasseur has made notable enhancements to Ferrari's strategic approach and has earned acclaim for his more composed demeanor. Additionally, his successful hiring of Lewis Hamilton for the 2025 season has been highlighted.

Leclerc was questioned regarding Vasseur's claim that to surpass Red Bull, Ferrari needs to abandon their cautious approach and embrace greater risks.

"He believes that Fred has indeed taken an action this year by emphasizing the importance of paying attention to the minutest details and ensuring every team member does the same," he stated.

"Combining all elements, focusing solely on a single aspect might lead you to question, 'Why should I take this risk?'"

"However, when everyone decides to take this risk, the cumulative effect ends up being significant."

"Undoubtedly, this strategy is essential for us if we aim to outperform Red Bull, given their current formidable strength."

From the season's outset, it's clear that both Red Bull and McLaren have shown formidable strength.

"It's crucial that we fully utilize the car's potential. This mindset has been with us from the season's start, and we plan to maintain it in our ongoing effort to outperform everyone else."

Leclerc's assessment of Ferrari's updates for Imola

As Ferrari heads to its home turf in Italy, the team is bringing enhancements aimed at narrowing the distance to Red Bull.

Leclerc had a chance to test out the new upgrades during a filming day at Fiorano last week.

"Clearly, the goal is that the enhancements are carried out as they were planned and envisioned well in advance," Leclerc stated.

"We couldn't respond to the initial flaws in the vehicle."

"Nonetheless, the primary goal was to enhance its overall quality and performance."

“Particularly in Fiorano, as it was primarily for shooting purposes. We didn't really test out anything extraordinary.

"Primarily, our initial insights and sensations came from the simulator, marking incremental progress towards our goal."

"Now, the moment of truth will reveal if the improvements we've observed in simulations actually translate to real-world outcomes, which I sincerely hope they do."

Last year, Ferrari faced difficulties at Imola, but with anticipated rain this weekend, Leclerc has a positive outlook.

"He mentioned that the area they found most challenging last year was dealing with sensitivity to the wind."

"The direction of the wind significantly impacts our car more than it does others."

This year, we've successfully addressed that issue, resulting in a car that's much more reliable and performs better under various conditions.

"This is the reason I believe that regardless of the circuits we've visited or the variations in wind direction and intensity we've encountered, our performance remained consistently strong, which is a positive aspect."

"Last year experienced quite a bit of fluctuation, so we've made adjustments to improve. Things have significantly improved. However, what's still uncertain is our performance in wet conditions, as we haven't had sufficient experience to evaluate it fully."

Ferrari nearly matched Max Verstappen's Red Bull pace in Miami, yet fell short in China.

"Leclerc attributed it primarily to the specific features of the track," he clarified.

"In China, we also found ourselves in a favorable position with the arrangement and fully tapped into the car's capabilities."

"The characteristics of certain turns in China presented significant challenges for us, causing us to fall behind notably, particularly following the qualifying round."

"In my opinion, we were only about three or four tenths off in the initial sector. Following that, when examining the second and third sectors, our speed was actually quite competitive."

"However, by that point, it was beyond our ability to reclaim what had been forfeited in the initial segment. Therefore, it seems the characteristics of Shanghai, for whatever reason, did not favor our vehicle."

"In Miami, there were no specific areas where the car inexplicably failed to operate."

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