Ferrari had a great performance during the first practice day at Zandvoort as they finished both sessions inside the top 5, with Charles Leclerc topping FP2 alongside his teammate Carlos Sainz.

When asked if he would be able to fight for pole position during qualifying, Leclerc said “I really hope so.

“It’s a track where risk rewards you, so in qualifying everything is possible. We’ll give our best, with Carlos we are pushing each other after every session, so hopefully we can benefit from that in quali.

“It feels amazing,” he added about the circuit. “I mean, those [banked corners] are just incredible to drive with the Formula 1 cars and the grip we have now is just crazy and we are quick for a first day. For now, all good, but we need to keep working because I’m pretty sure the others have some more pace to come for tomorrow.”

Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz, agreed that Ferrari’s pace looks strong and that they’re going for pole on Saturday, although he’s being conservative with his ambitions.

“We’re going to try [for pole], definitely, but I wouldn’t expect a Monaco here. We’ve seen in the long runs that the Merc and the Red Bull are quicker but we want to be right behind them if we can, especially because we feel a bit closer than in previous weekends and we want to maximize every opportunity that they give us, if they do a mistake…

“I mean, we look to be on pace, definitely better than Spa,” he continued. “I think the Mercedes and the Red Bull are still quicker, especially when you look at the long runs – you could clearly see that that red flag there in the middle didn’t allow them to put the lap on the softs and maybe made us look quicker.

“Lando is also very quick in the McLaren, so I expect to have a good fight with the McLaren again and then unfortunately… Mercedes and Red Bull are still ahead, but maybe in this circuit we’re a bit closer to them than what we have been recently,” he concluded.

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