A Rundown on Charles Leclerc’s Often Criticized Ferrari F1 Race Engineer – Xavier Marcos Padros

Published 08/16/2021, 10:53 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during practice FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The Scuderia Ferrari is on an upward climb this season considering the efforts of their drivers. Charles Leclerc has been having an impressive season so far. But behind every successful racer is a competent race engineer. The man on the other end of Charles Leclerc’s radio is Xavier Marcos Padros, the most important source of information for Leclerc.

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An important part of the Ferrari pit wall, the Spaniard’s main objective is to provide Leclerc all the information he needs during the race.

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The role of a race engineer is all-encompassing. It requires the person in this position to have an all-around knowledge of the car and the team. As opposed to what one hears on their TV during a race; a race engineer not only talks to the driver but also the teams and makes sure everyone is on the same page.

Charles Leclerc’s conversations on the radio

Leclerc’s air-time with his engineer is nothing short of hilarious. Xavier is often criticized for either giving too much or too little information. More recently in the 2021 Spanish GP, Xavier was telling Leclerc about Daniel Ricciardo’s lap time around Circuit de Catalunya. Leclerc, confused, replied“Why you give me the Ricciardo lap time? I don’t need it.”

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Charles Leclerc is known to be highly critical of his performance. When Xavier tried to motivate the Monegasque after a disappointing 2020 Turkish GP, Leclerc snapped, No, I did a shit job. I did a shit job. I did a f***ing shit job.” 

He later added on the airwaves, I am so sorry. I am f***ing stupid. As much as in Baku.” Leclerc was referring to his infamous “I am stupid” comment when he crashed into the barriers during the qualifying at Azerbaijan.

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While the love-hate relationship between Charles and his engineer continues, the two seem to be on a run in the 2021 season, with the engine problems and pitstop strategies, the communications between the two have definitely become better. As the second half of the season approaches, the battle in the midfield intensifies. This means the eyes on the pit wall and the eyes in the car are focused on victory.

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Shreya Sanjeev

366 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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