Charles Leclerc implored to be more like Max Verstappen and George Russell

Charles Leclerc has finished just one race so far this season, after suffering an engine failure in Bahrain and spinning out in Australia.

1996 Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill believes Charles Leclerc needs to have more of a say in Ferrari’s decision-making, with the Briton believing he needs to become more “forceful” like reigning World Champion Max Verstappen.

Leclerc has faced unimaginable bad luck over the past 12 months, with the Monegasque typically being the victim of a strategic error or a power unit failure.

Even in the opening three rounds of the 2023 F1 season, Leclerc has already faced a power unit failure and a grid penalty due to using too many sets of control electronics, with it looking set to be a miserable year for the 25-year-old.

It certainly appears that Leclerc has little say over some of the decisions and how the team works, despite him seemingly being Ferrari’s best hope in regard to winning a title.

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Last season saw Ferrari complete poor strategies several times, with qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix having summarised their shocking decision-making.

Leclerc was fitted with Intermediate tyres in Q3 despite the circuit being dry, with Leclerc having not argued why he was being sent out on the mixed conditions tyre.

It wasn’t until he was out on track that he complained about the tyre he was on, with Hill believing the Ferrari star needs to be more vocal when it comes to strategy.

“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 F1 Nation podcast.

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“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.”

Hill has suggested that Leclerc looks to some of the big names in the paddock for inspiration somewhat, with Verstappen, George Russell and Fernando Alonso all being labelled as “forceful” drivers.

By this, Hill means that they take some control over their strategy, something which would benefit Leclerc.

“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 Hill.

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“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.”