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Charles Leclerc faced challenging transition with new race engineer at Imola

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc acknowledged the difficulty of adjusting to a new race engineer during the recent Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

This change came as part of Ferrari's strategic organizational restructure, which saw Bryan Bozzi take over from Xavi Marcos as Leclerc's race engineer.

A race engineer's role is crucial, as they maintain constant communication with the driver on track, acting as the critical link between the driver and the team. Leclerc had worked with Marcos since he joined Ferrari in 2019, and the sudden swap ahead of Imola presented a unique challenge for him.

"He has done very well," Leclerc remarked about Bozzi in a media briefing. "It's always very tricky whenever you change, especially in the middle of the season, like it was the case here. There was lots of new things that he had to get up to speed with. I also had Johannes [Hatz], my performance engineer, who was new on track.

"So I had two new people in my team in new roles, and that was quite difficult at the beginning, but 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 was poised for a strong finish at Imola, seemingly on course for a second-place result. However, a mistake at Turn 14 compromised his progress.

Despite this setback, Leclerc insisted that the real challenge came from the increased pace of Lando Norris ahead of him rather than a decline in his own performance.

"To be honest, my pace was quite similar for the whole stint," Leclerc explained. "It's more that Lando gained quite a bit of pace, and it was not possible for me to come back within DRS. 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. At the beginning of the stint with the Hard tires, 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.

"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 managing the tires and attacking Lando at the end 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."

As Formula 1 enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the crown jewel of the F1 calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix, scheduled for the weekend of 24-26 May, the focus shifts to the iconic Circuit de Monaco.

This event is a pivotal juncture in the season, with teams vying for supremacy in one of the most prestigious and challenging races on the calendar. For Leclerc and Ferrari, the home race offers an opportunity to capitalize on recent progress and potentially secure a significant result in front of a fervent local crowd.

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