Formula 1 Racing

Leclerc set for new Ferrari F1 race engineer as Xavi Marcos moves role

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, with Xavier Marcos, Race Engineer, Ferrari

Marcos has been Leclerc’s race engineer since he joined from Sauber at the start of 2019, getting the role after his working as a factory-based engineer when Carlo Santi had been race engineer for Leclerc’s predecessor Kimi Raikkonen in 2018.

This followed long-time Ferrari driver coach and esteemed race engineer Jock Clear working to implement Leclerc’s engineering team for his first season with the Scuderia.

On Thursday, Ferrari announced that Marcos will step down as Leclerc’s engineer from the start of next week and the build-up to the Emilia Romagna GP, as he is being moved to work on “other important company programmes”.

The full Ferrari statement reads: “Organisational update: Ferrari announces that, as of Monday 13 May, Xavi Marcos will bring his valuable experience gained as a race engineer with the Formula 1 team to the development of other important company programmes.”

Ferrari also announced that Leclerc’s current performance engineer – Bryan Bozzi, a 10-year veteran with the Scuderia – will replace Marcos as race engineer from the Imola round.

The move follows a series of fractious team messages between Leclerc and Marcos in recent years – many of which followed discussions around Ferrari’s race strategy choices following a series of shambolic tactics decisions during its title-contending period in 2022.

At the 2023 United States GP, Leclerc revealed that he had “punched my steering wheel and my helmet” in frustration at hearing a Marcos call relating to track limits following the lap he had produced to claim pole position at Austin.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, with Xavier Marcos, Race Engineer, Ferrari

Photo by: FIA Pool

In fact, Marcos had been referring to Max Verstappen’s time being deleted for a track limits violation.

Then, just one race ago at the 2024 Chinese GP, a bizarre radio misunderstanding between the pair took place in that GP’s closing stages, when Marcos suggested Leclerc return to running his “original line” at a certain part of the Shanghai track “for comparison”.

This left Leclerc seemingly bewildered. The exchange went as follows:

Marcos: Try original line Turns 7 and 8 for comparison.
Leclerc: What?
Marcos: Try original line Turns 7 and 8.
Leclerc: I don’t understand. ‘Horizontal line? What the hell is that?
Marcos: Original line! Like the beginning of the race.
Leclerc: ‘Original line’, you said?
Marcos: ‘Original line’, yes.
Leclerc: What the hell…

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