Ferrari narrowed Mercedes’ lead to 20 points after finishing fourth and sixth at the Japanese Grand prix.

Leclerc enjoyed a quiet race to finish fourth, crossing the finish line six seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Carlos Sainz narrowly missed out on fifth after a late pit stop dropped bim behind both Mercedes drivers.

It’s been a strong run of races for Ferrari, out-scoring Mercedes in Italy, Singapore and now Japan.

Leclerc has hinted that Ferrari are now in a strong position to take P2 off the German manufacturer.

“They are strong, in the race they were on it,” Leclerc said. “They put is under pressure. 

“They split their cars, that was an interesting strategy. They are strong in the race, in qualifying they are a bit more inconsistent. It will be a close fight because we are more inconsistent in the race, they are more inconsistent in qualifying. 

“But I have a feeling inside of me that we’ve learned things in the past weekends that will give us the upper hand.”

Team boss Frederic Vasseur admitted that Ferrari were forced to “focus on Mercedes today” as it will be a “fight until the end.

“We were a couple of hundredths behind McLaren in qualy,”  he added. “They were faster this weekend.

“We had to focus on Mercedes today. We took a step forwards. This will be the fight until the end.”