The Ferrari driver simply edged out Red Bull Racing rivals Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen after what was a scrappy session for a lot of drivers, with a number of huge names making errors or being handicapped by yellow flags triggered by others.
The highest three drivers all took journeys down escape roads through the session, whereas Verstappen additionally had a gradual velocity spin.
Requested if he anticipated a tough battle for pole with Purple Bull, Leclerc mentioned: “I believe will probably be. We have had a superb Friday as a result of general I believe we have improved rather a lot from FP1 to FP2, however there’s nonetheless one other step that we have to do from at the moment to tomorrow.
“I additionally really feel in FP2 no one actually put a lap in and neither did we, I believe Max and Carlos [Sainz] did not really enhance on the mushy. So yeah, there are nonetheless numerous query marks.
“I believe the Positive to remove from at the moment is that the tyre degradation was good, and the race tempo was very robust. So that’s good.”
Leclerc’s heavy gas run in direction of the top of the session was compromised when he felt a lack of energy and urgently requested his workforce for recommendation, and he was instructed to change to race mode.
“Truly, it was not an influence unit drawback,” he defined. “It is simply me that forgot that I had modified one thing which clearly made me lose energy. However nothing unhealthy.”
Purple Bull suffered with extra DRS points in FP1, with the flap vibrating, and the workforce needed to make modifications earlier than FP2.
Having edged out his teammate regardless of a not quite perfect session, Perez was inspired by progress.
Sergio Perez, Purple Bull Racing RB18
Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“It was a strong day,” mentioned the Mexican. “We have now work to do. Ferrari seemed robust, particularly within the second sector, within the corners. We have now to seek out one thing there to be within the battle tomorrow.
“It was a superb begin to the day. FP2 did not went pretty much as good as we would not have appreciated. I believe we in all probability took some flawed instructions with it. We had been simply exploring, and it was simply not coming, and we weren’t capable of type out our issues.
“However now we have good knowledge with each tyres as effectively in the long term. It was the reverse with Max in that regard, so I believe there’s good knowledge for us to assemble and to undergo it tonight, and hopefully we’re capable of put all of it collectively tomorrow for qualifying.”
Verstappen admitted that it had been a troublesome day after struggling to get a consultant lap in.
“Only a bit unfortunate with my mushy tyre runs in FP1 and FP2,” mentioned the Dutchman. “On a regular basis I bought a yellow flag so I needed to again out, however general I believe we glance fairly respectable. It seems to be like Ferrari is sort of fast over one lap once more, lengthy runs then look a bit bit extra even.
“In order that’s Positive. And yeah, for as soon as it looks as if on the road circuit we are able to get the tyres to work over one lap, everybody it looks as if, as a result of on a regular basis you strive within the second lap you already lose efficiency. However general I believe not a foul day, simply must advantageous tune a couple of issues.”