Despite already conceding his surprise at this elevated position, Leclerc reflected that the race could be a more difficult prospect, with the Scuderia having fallen short of both Red Bull and Aston Martin in this respect during testing.
With the qualifying times being tighter than expected, Leclerc joked: "I hope it will also be like that on the race runs but yeah, it was very close.
"Aston Martin was really quick, Mercedes was really quick at some points in the qualifying and we are much closer than what we expected which is looking good for the future.
"I think it makes Formula 1 more exciting, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the races.
"Let's say that in the race run, we seem to have a bit of a weakness for now.
"Having a new tyre will help us tomorrow but I don't know how much the picture will change with that. It's going in the right direction at least."
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