The Monegasque led a Ferrari 1-2 in a disrupted second practice at Zandvoort as Lewis Hamilton suffered a power outage in his Mercedes and broke down on the track.

Leclerc was the only driver to dip below the 1m11s barrier as he lapped 0.154s faster than Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz during the soft tyre simulation runs late in FP2.

And Leclerc hopes his promising one lap pace will translate into qualifying and potentially enable him to add to the two pole positions he has already scored this year at Monaco and Baku.

“I think we are in a good place but I think we also need to keep working as on the high fuel we weren’t as quick as the low fuel,” Leclerc said.

“That probably shows us something, so we need to keep working and hopefully if we do a good job overnight we should be quick tomorrow.

“Definitely on paper it was looking a bit better than Spa but for now we are looking very good,” he added.

“I’m pretty sure the top teams have something more but compared to our direct competitors we are looking good.”

Asked if he is hopeful of springing a surprise in qualifying, Leclerc replied: “I really hope so.

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

However, Sainz does not feel a repeat of Ferrari’s strong competitiveness at Monaco is likely and expects both Red Bull and Mercedes to pull clear in qualifying.

"I think Mercedes and Red Bull are still quicker, especially when you look at the long runs, you could clearly see the red flag in the middle didn’t allow them to put the lap on the soft and maybe made us look quicker,” he explained.

“Lando is also quick in the McLaren, I expect a good fight with the McLaren again, Mercedes and Red Bull look to be still ahead but maybe at this circuit a bit closer to them than what we have been recently.

"I wouldn’t expect a Monaco here. We’ve seen in the long runs the Merc and the RB 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 maximise every opportunity they give us if they make a mistake.

“We’ll try our best, and today the important thing is the car was working well, we didn’t do many set-up changes, we put the car on track and it was working well and that’s always a positive.”