Mekies: Tsunoda has made a huge step this year

Mekies: Tsunoda has made a huge step this year

Mekies: Tsunoda has made a huge step this year

RB Team Principal Laurent Mekies has heaped praise on driver Yuki Tsunoda for his consistent good form in 2024.

Tsunoda, who is now in his fourth consecutive year in Formula 1 for the Faenza-based outfit, has started the 2024 season with a solid turn of pace and consistency.

The Japanese driver currently sits tenth in the Drivers’ Championship with 14 points to his name. Few would disagree that he has started the year better than Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo, an F1 veteran with eight victories in the single-seater series.

Tsunoda recently scored seven valuable points for himself and RB over the Miami Grand Prix weekend, as he kept his nose clean and crossed the finish line in a brilliant seventh in the main race.

In fact, the Red Bull sister team enjoyed an upturn in relative performance in Miami, as Ricciardo qualified fourth for the Sprint and kept the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr. at bay to maintain said position for the Saturday race.

Nevertheless, there is no denying that Tsunoda is extracting the maximum out of his VCARB 01 car weekend in, weekend out. RB Team Principal Mekies is delighted with the steady progress that the 24-year-old has been making over the years.

There is more to come

Mekies: Tsunoda has made a huge step this year

Mekies told motorsport.com: “Yuki has made a huge step this year. In fairness, he made a step between year one and year two, year two and year three.

“And I think the step he is making now between year three and year four is massive,” exclaimed the French engineer.

He credited Tsunoda’s recent uptick in assuredness behind the wheel for the regular points finishes. The 47-year-old continued: “You see a driver now that is able to not only have the raw speed, which we knew, and he elevated it even more now. But he can execute weekends with absolutely zero mistakes from FP1 to the race.

“It was the case in Australia, it was the case in Japan. And it was not far from that in Miami, to be honest.”

Tsunoda still has plenty of years left in him at the highest level, and Mekies believes that he will continue to improve his driving skill well into the future. He stated: “He has made a massive step forward and I think there is more to come, so we are working very hard to make sure we develop an environment where he is able to make these steps.

“We are very impressed with his work,” concluded the RB boss.

F1 is back in action around the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the first weekend in Europe for 2024. The race will commence at 14:00 BST (15:00 local time) on Sunday 19 May.