Damon Hill believes Charles Leclerc should be “more forceful” like Fernando Alonso and George Russell when it comes to race strategy. Ferrari had a troubled history with race strategies last season, notably at the Hungarian Grand Prix when a tyre error cost Leclerc a shot at victory. The team has made key changes behind the scenes ahead of the season, focusing on the flow of communication between engineers at critical moments. But Hill thinks Leclerc should also dictate more when behind the wheel, as the team’s decisions can often not always be in the best interests of a drivers position in the championship. “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,” said Hill on the 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.” Hill: Drivers like Alonso direct to the team and swing decisions Hill has history with influencing team decisions, having negotiated with Jordan to stop his teammate Ralf Schumacher from racing at the 1998 Belgium Grand Prix to secure a one-two for the team. He believes drivers have the ability to swing decisions in races, citing Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen as examples of drivers that “direct to the team.” “The drivers have very little control and this is why Max [Verstappen] is so forceful, and I’ve heard a similar thing about George Russell. “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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