Ferrari fans react after Charles Leclerc announces radical change: ‘We are no longer checking!’

Leclerc has worked with race engineer Xavi Marcos since joining Ferrari at the start of the 2019 F1 season

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Friday 10 May 2024 10:00 BST
Charles Leclerc dispirited after qualifying in Japan

Charles Leclerc is changing his race engineer at Ferrari with long-term confidante Xavi Marcos being replaced ahead of next weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Leclerc has worked with Marcos since joining Ferrari in 2019, with the Spaniard the familiar voice over the radio for the Monegasque in the past five seasons, but Marcos will now “bring his valuable experience to the development of other important company programmes.”

And Ferrari announced that Leclerc’s current performance engineer, Bryan Bozzi, will replace Marcos from next week at Imola. Bozzi has been at the Scuderia for 10 years and has a wealth of experience in Formula 1.

Leclerc’s relationship with Marcos has featured some iconic and frustrating moments in the last few years, with the pair most recently clashing in the final stages of last month’s Chinese Grand Prix.

A misunderstanding over Marcos requesting Leclerc to try an “original line” at a section of the Shanghai track resulted in Leclerc sharply responding: “What the hell does that mean?”

Leclerc also made his irritation audible in Saudi Arabia last year when Marcos informed him too late about a Lewis Hamilton pit stop during a safety car period.

“Xavi, you need to tell me that before!” Leclerc said. “No but come on!”

Charles Leclerc has changed race engineer ahead of Imola next week
Charles Leclerc has changed race engineer ahead of Imola next week (Getty Images)

Ferrari fans reacted on social media to the news on Thursday with amusement, with many referring to Marcos’ go-to line when asked a question by Leclerc: “We are checking…”

One fan said “we are no longer checking!” while another similarly posted: “And just like that, Ferrari were no longer checking.”

Leclerc paid tribute to his former race engineer on social media, saying: “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.”

Leclerc is currently third in the championship standards, 38 points off leader Max Verstappen ahead of F1’s first European race of the season next week.

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