Ferrari replaces Charles Leclerc’s race engineer Xavi Marcos

Ferrari replaces Charles Leclerc's race engineer Xavi Marcos

Ferrari has announced that Charles Leclerc’s race engineer Xavi Marcos has been replaced ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc’s longtime race engineer Xavier Marcos Padros will not be at his service in Imola as the Scuderia has assigned the Spaniard to new tasks within the company’s ranks.

Marcos has served as the team’s race engineer serving Leclerc since the Monesgaque joined from Sauber at the beginning of 2019. Prior to Marcos taking on the role, he served as a factory engineer when Carlo Santi served as Kimi Raikkonen’s race engineer in 2018.

This came after renowned race engineer and longtime Ferrari driver instructor Jock Clear worked to put Leclerc’s engineering team into action during his rookie season with the Scuderia.

Before joining Ferrari, Marcos served as Felipe Massa’s race engineer at Williams and later went to work in NASCAR from 2015 to 2018. The Spaniard, who has overseen all five of Leclerc’s Grand Prix victories, has built a reputation for himself for giving his driver the iconic radio message, “We are checking.”

Ferrari confirmed on Thursday that Marcos will step down from his role as Leclerc’s engineer at the beginning of next week, in the build-up to the Emilia Romagna GP, in order to focus on other important company projects.

Additionally, Ferrari revealed that Bryan Bozzi, who is a seasoned Scuderia veteran for over ten years, and currently works as Leclerc’s performance engineer, will take Marcos’ place as race engineer effective from the Imola round.

Bozzi started his career with Ferrari in 2012 as a wind tunnel research and development engineer after completing his mechanical engineering studies in the UK. At the end of 2014, he was promoted to aero track group engineer.

He moved into race engineering in late 2018 and was assigned to work on Leclerc’s side of the garage along with Marcos Padros in 2019. His new role as Leclerc’s race engineer is his first taste of working as a driver’s right-hand man.

“Scuderia Ferrari HP announces that Bryan Bozzi, who has worked in the team for ten years, currently as Performance Engineer to Charles Leclerc, will now take on the role of his Race Engineer from next weekend’s Gran Premio del Made in Italy and dell’Emilia-Romagna at Imola,” read the statement, with Ferrari also confirming the fate of Xavi Marcos.

“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.”

The change comes after a string of controversial radio exchanges between Leclerc and Marcos in over the past years, majority of which were prompted by talks about Ferrari’s race strategy choices following a string of disastrous tactical errors made during its 2022 battle for the title.

Leclerc stated at the 2023 United States Grand Prix that he had “punched his steering wheel and helmet” in frustration after hearing a Marcos call about track limits after completing the lap that earned him pole position in Austin.

Recently at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, Marcos advised Leclerc go back to running his “original line” at a specific section of the Shanghai track “for comparison” during the final moments of the race, with only a lap to go, resulting to an odd radio misunderstanding between the two.

It remains unclear what Ferrari’s plans are in regards to Lewis Hamilton’s race engineer after he leaves Mercedes at the end of the current campaign to take Carlos Sainz’s spot in 2025.

Although there has been speculations that Hamilton might move with his long-time Mercedes race engineer Peter Bonnington to Ferrari if the two teams could come to an agreement, Riccardo Adami might take on the role which has remained to be his after Sainz joined the team to replace Sebastian Vettel for 2021.

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