Ferrari urged to ring the changes to help Charles Leclerc next year

Lewis Hamilton reveals the Queen told him off at the Royal lunch

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Ferrari will need to recruit some new members of their strategy department in order to give Charles Leclerc the platform to compete with Max Verstappen for next year’s Drivers’ Championship title, according to ex-F1 driver Karun Chandhok. The historic Italian team were initially tipped as the favourites to clinch the end-of-season honours at the start of the campaign after producing a blisteringly quick car with the ability to push Red Bull all the way.

Their hopes of glory have faded over the last few months, though, due to a combination of strategic errors and high-profile mistakes from their drivers. Chandhok believes that changes will need to be made at Ferrari in advance of next year in order to bounce back from their recent on-track struggles, with the team able to benefit from switching things up on the pit wall.

“Clearly there’s a good design group there, because the car they’ve produced is very fast,” Chandhok exclusively told Express Sport.

“So when it comes to pure design, there’s not much wrong there. Apart from Spa, which is a bit of an unusual circuit, you’d have to say across the season they’ve been in the hunt.

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“Their reliability has been an issue, they’ve lost a win for Charles [Leclerc] and going into penalties and all that stuff. That’s a whole heap of points.

“Strategically they haven’t been as good and I think that’s something they really should be looking at because there’s some things there which seem to be going wrong on too many occasions. Should they be looking at getting in some fresh blood in the strategy team? Probably.

“If I was Mattia Binotto that’s an area I would be looking at for next season. How do we learn from what Red Bull and Mercedes do? Because they seem to be much sharper than Ferrari and more consistent as well.

“It’s all well and good winning the odd race but to win a championship you have to be consistently good. I think that’s the difference at the moment.”

Chandhok was speaking to Express Sport after hosting the BonusFinder World Gas Pumping Championships in London and presenting the winner with a title belt, prize money and a replenished tank of petrol.

“It was one of the most amusing and left-field days I’ve had, if I’m honest,” said Chandhok. “It was just a really fun day for people to come out and win a bit of prize money.

“The people participating got well into it. It’s a bit of a random thing to do on a Wednesday but they all got really competitive and quite serious!”

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