Charles Leclerc believes it will be a "huge surprise" if Ferrari can challenge for pole position at the Mexico City Grand Prix.
The Monogasque was third quickest and 0.266s slower than the best time set by Max Verstappen in the opening day's running at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with Lando Norris separating the two, with Leclerc coming off a surprise pole position last time out in the United States.
While it was a reasonable day for his side of the Ferrari garage, Leclerc, who was disqualified from sixth place in Austin due to excessive plan wear, feels the SF-23 package is just not quick enough to be challenging at the top come the sharp end of qualifying.
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Leclerc: We've got work to do
When asked about his chances of taking back-to-back poles for the first time this season, Leclerc conceded to F1TV that: "It will be a huge surprise if we achieve pole position, but never say never.
"It's a tricky track, it's very difficult to put the lap together, but I feel like this weekend we are a bit too far away."
"We've still got a lot of work to do.
"The McLarens seem to be extremely strong, obviously the Red Bull and Max [Verstappen] seem to be very strong, then the Mercedes which is a bit more difficult to read into for now.
"Focusing on ourselves, we know what the areas are that we need to work on and hopefully that will help us to take a step forward."
Leclerc's team-mate Carlos Sainz finished the day's running in 11th having missed a chunk of running in the first session due to a hydraulic problem that forced him to return to the pits.