Charles Leclerc’s long-time race engineer replaced ahead of Imola GP

Thomas Maher
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 2024 Miami Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc will have a new F1 race engineer for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

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

Charles Leclerc will be without long-time race engineer Xavier Marcos Padros at Imola, with the Scuderia assigning the Spaniard to new projects within the company.

Ferrari assigns new race engineer to Charles Leclerc

Ferrari has confirmed that, in Marcos’ place, will be Bryan Bozzi.

Currently serving as Leclerc’s performance engineer, Bozzi will take up the role of Leclerc’s race engineer from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

In a short statement posted to social media, Ferrari confirmed the change of personnel on Leclerc’s side of the garage.

“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.”

Marcos Podras has been Leclerc’s race engineer throughout the entirety of the Monegasque’s time with Ferrari, having worked in NASCAR between 2015 and ’18 – prior to this he was Felipe Massa’s race engineer at Williams.

The Spaniard has overseen all five of Leclerc’s Grand Prix wins, and has become something of a celebrity in his own right due to his infamous radio messages telling his driver “We are checking…”

Leclerc paid tribute to his departing race engineer, posting on social media to express his gratitude for everything they’ve achieved together.

“Grazie mille di tutto Xavi,” he wrote.

So many years working together, my first pole, my first win as well as my first year in Ferrari was alongside you and you always got the better out of me by pushing so hard no matter the situation we were in.

“Thank you for everything and good luck for your new adventures in the future.”

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Who is Bryan Bozzi?

Leclerc’s new race engineer Bryan Bozzi began his career with Ferrari in 2012. Having studied mechanical engineering in the UK, Bozzi started his Ferrari tenure as a wind tunnel research and development engineer before becoming an aero track group engineer at the end of 2014.

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 assignment as Leclerc’s race engineer is his first taste of working as a driver’s right-hand man.

Race engineers play a crucial role in unlocking their driver’s talents and are the voices over the radio that can motivate, explain, and encourage. Leading examples are the long-time race engineers that oversee the most successful world champions on the grid – such as Gianpiero Lambiase, who has no issue giving as good as he gets with Max Verstappen over team radio, and Pete Bonnington’s friendship with Lewis Hamilton.

Leclerc isn’t the only driver adjusting to life working with a new race engineer at the moment, as Valtteri Bottas was assigned a new one last week. Having worked with Alex Chan since joining Sauber at the start of 2022, he showed up in Miami to begin working with Steven Petrik as the Hinwil-based squad starts making staff changes ahead of the arrival of Audi.

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