Charles Leclerc predicts Mercedes and Red Bull will draw closer to Ferrari at the front of the pack should weather conditions at Hockenheim cool as expected on Saturday.

Ferrari swept to a one-two finish in both FP1 and FP2 for the German Grand Prix on Friday, with Leclerc leading from teammate Sebastian Vettel in the afternoon session.

Hot conditions at Hockenheim aided Ferrari as Mercedes was forced to open up its car more to deal with its ongoing cooling struggles, something seen most clearly in Austria last month.

However, with rain forecast overnight to cool off the current heatwave hitting Europe, Leclerc expects both Mercedes and Red Bull to be in stronger shape come qualifying on Saturday.

“It’s obviously looking good, but on the other hand it’s only Friday, and we know Mercedes sometimes is hiding a little bit until Saturday, so it’s not going to be easy,” Leclerc said.

“Also it’s going to be cooler tomorrow, which will help the other teams. We are always very strong when it’s sunny, and if it’s raining, we also know that Red Bull is very, very quick.

“It’s not going to be easy, but a positive day anyway.”

Leclerc will enter Saturday’s qualifying session chasing his third pole position of the year following previous successes in Bahrain and Austria, as well as aiming to pick up his maiden grand prix victory on Sunday.

“I will only be happy if we do the pole, and even more so if we win on Sunday, but we are still far from it,” Leclerc said.

“I think there were still very positive things, but there were a few things I was not happy about and that we need to improve, but this is like this always.”