Charles Leclerc is anticipating “more of a difficult weekend” for Ferrari at the British Grand Prix, tipping Mercedes to be “a lot stronger” than it was last time out in Austria.

Leclerc took pole for Ferrari and led the majority of the race before finishing second after being passed late on by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in Austria, with Mercedes lagging behind as the third-fastest team.

It was the first race Mercedes had failed to win in 2019, leaving Ferrari as the only of the ‘big three’ teams yet to record a victory this year.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Leclerc talked up Ferrari’s recent run of form, but said he expected Mercedes to strike back this weekend at a track that suits its car better.

“I think it was a good few races [for Ferrari], even before Austria,” Leclerc said.

Paul Ricard, OK, [at] Paul Ricard Mercedes was very quick, but I think our race pace was quite promising. Canada we were quite strong too. We seem to be a little bit better.

“But I still expect Mercedes to be very, very strong this weekend, a lot stronger than they were in Austria.

“It might be more of a difficult weekend for us, but we’ll give it everything and hopefully a good result at the end of the weekend.

“Overall there are plenty of positives. But we still need to focus on the negatives which is our cornering speed, and try to focus on that too to improve in the future."

While Ferrari's straight-line speed advantage allowed it to take victory at Silverstone last year through Sebastian Vettel, Mercedes has been able to overhaul much of the deficit through the corners this season, making the team the favourite for this weekend's race.

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