Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari is some way behind rivals Mercedes in race pace following the conclusion of Friday’s practice sessions for the British Grand Prix.
Mercedes finished 1-2 in the second practice session at Silverstone but Leclerc emerged as the team’s nearest opponent, 0.197s behind Valtteri Bottas.
But Leclerc reckons the picture is misleading and that Ferrari faces a substantial deficit to the title leaders.
“I expected Mercedes to be the team to beat this weekend and they confirmed that today that they are the team to beat this weekend, they were very, very quick during race pace,” said Leclerc.
“I think qualifying pace is not so bad but our race pace we have been struggling quite a lot.
“In the race runs we were struggling a lot with the two front tyres, but the front left was particularly dead, so we need to work on that.”
Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who won the race in 2018, placed fourth.
“Well it was a bit difficult, I think it was a bit up and down this afternoon, for many reasons,” he said.
“We tried some things. So, not so bothered with one or two particular lap times. I think bigger picture today, it was okay, too many jumps for us, up and down, still Mercedes looked very very fast and the ones to beat so we'll see where we'll be tomorrow.
“I think we did that today and some stuff didn't work, so we have to pick now the right cards for tomorrow.”