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Leclerc's plan to beat Mercedes: Improve, then hope!

Leclerc's plan to beat Mercedes: Improve, then hope!

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Leclerc's plan to beat Mercedes: Improve, then hope!

Leclerc's plan to beat Mercedes: Improve, then hope!

Charles Leclerc says Ferrari will need to make another significant step up if they are to challenge Mercedes at the Canadian Grand Prix. Leclerc finished Friday's second practice session as the fastest driver in Montreal, but expects the tables to turn again.

Third-placed Leclerc was a second behind Lewis Hamilton in FP1 as more Mercedes dominance seemed to be on the cards, but things tightened up in the afternoon session.

Aiding Leclerc's spot at the top of the timesheets was Hamilton hitting the barriers at Turn 9, losing an hour of run-time after Mercedes opted to entirely rebuild the rear end of his car.

"It has been a positive day," said Leclerc. "The step we have done from FP1 to FP2 has been very good.

"Now we need to do the same one from FP2 to FP3 and FP3 to quali and then hopefully we can challenge them.

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"I still believe that Mercedes is very strong. I expect it will be very hard to beat them in qualifying.

"So we need to work very hard. We did a good step in terms of performance from FP1 to FP2, the car felt better, but we should do another step to try and hopefully challenge the Mercedes."

Ferrari's strong engine is expected to put them in contention alongside Mercedes in Montreal, with a weakness through the corners having hampered them so far this year.

Leclerc accepts that seeking strength in one area will mean others are affected.

"I think it goes together. If you are quick in the straights you will be a bit more struggling in the corners," he said.

"At the moment it's our compromise and that's how we work the best. We'll see if it's enough."

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