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Leclerc must be more directive regarding Ferrari strategy – Hill

Damon Hill believes Charles Leclerc should adopt the “forceful” attitude of a few of his colleagues when it comes to weighing in on Ferrari’s in-race strategy decisions.

Strategy and communication was a costly weakness at the Scuderia last season, to the point where the team undertook changes during the winter to the organization of its pit wall.

Chief strategist Inaki Rueda, the man who called the shots for Ferrari in the past, was moved to the Scuderia’s remote race control unit in Maranello and replaced by Ravin Jain.

  • Read also: Leclerc not planning more assertive approach on strategy

But Hill is among those who believe that Leclerc himself should be more assertive behind the wheel, suggesting that Ferrari calls are most often for the benefit of the team rather than for the individual driver.

“When you’ve got races where teams choose to put drivers with different strategies, that can always be immensely frustrating to drivers – particularly if they’re in the latter stages of a championship,” explained Hill on the latest F1 Nation podcast.

“Because a team might say something, which is detrimental, and this is what happened with Charles Leclerc.

“He was not given preference, the wrong strategy, or the strategy that benefited and covered the team from a competitive point of view but put him at a disadvantage to his teammate.

“Because you have this contradiction in our sport where you have two championships going at the same time and the teams run everything.”

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23 makes a pit stop. 19.03.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Hill noted how several drivers, like Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso, are more decisive and pushy in their radio communication with their team and in their will to “swing” a decision in their favor.

“The drivers have very little control and this is why Max is so forceful, and I’ve heard a similar thing about George Russell,” added the 1996 F1 world champion.

“He is very forceful, and you might even say Carlos Sainz at Ferrari – they direct to the team.

“[Drivers like] Fernando Alonso, they direct the team from the cockpit and they can swing it.

“If a team is not bothered either way, then it is possible to get what you want for your strategy for a particular race, but you have to think quickly.”

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