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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc makes admission over sudden F1 engineer swap

A major change ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix saw Charles Leclerc appointed a new race engineer.

To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc has admitted it was “quite difficult” to adjust to working with a new race engineer for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Ahead of the weekend, Ferrari announced an organisational restructure with Bryan Bozzi replacing Xavi Marcos as Leclerc's race engineer.

The role of a race engineer includes constant communication with a driver while they're on track, acting as the link between the team and the driver.

Leclerc had worked with Marcos ever since he joined Ferrari in 2019 and admitted the swap ahead of Imola was tricky to adjust to in the opening phase of the weekend.

“He has done very well,” Leclerc said of Bozzi, speaking to media including RacingNews365. “It's always very tricky whenever you change, especially in the middle of the season, like it was the case here. 

“So there was lots of new things that he had to get up to speed to. I also had Johannes [Hatz], who was my performance engineer, who was new on track. 

“So I had two persons in my team that were new in their role and that was quite difficult at the beginning, but actually they've done an incredible job and it went really well. 

”Now we'll work on that and try to get better, but it's a really good start.”

Leclerc looked to be in the hunt for a second-place result at Imola before a mistake at Turn 14 dented his surge.

However, the Monegasque driver asserted that an increase in pace from Lando Norris ahead, rather than a drop off in his own pace, was to blame for the end of the attack.

“To be honest my pace was quite similar for the whole stint,” he said. “It's more Lando that then gained quite a bit of pace, and it was not possible for me to come back within DRS. 

“Then I was in a very awkward gap to Lando where you don't get the benefits of the DRS, but you are just losing in corners, which at the beginning of the stint with the Hard, with our pace advantage, I could get within DRS. 

“But then as soon as I lost it, it was also at the same time Lando started to push a bit more. And the two things put together made me go back a little bit. But I also had to try something a little bit different. 

“I knew that by managing the tyres and attacking Lando at the end it was not the right thing because the pace advantage was not enough. So I just tried at the beginning to put him under a bit more pressure.”

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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