RB’s Mekies praises Tsunoda for ‘massive step forward’


RB team principal Laurent Mekies has praised Yuki Tsunoda for his development of late, insisting the Japanese driver has made a “massive” step forward since last season.

While most eyes were on Daniel Ricciardo at the start of the season, Tsunoda has comprehensively outpaced his RB teammate in most of team’s first six races of 2024.

Tsunoda scored a strong seventh-place finish in Melbourne and clinched a point at his home race at Suzuka while Ricciardo has struggled on most occasions both in qualifying and on race day, until his impressive P4 in Miami Sprint event last time out.

But thanks to Tsunoda, the Faenza-based outfit sits a solid seventh in F1’s Constructors’ standings with 19 points, well ahead of Haas in P8.

"Yuki has made a huge step this year,” commented Mekies, quoted by Motorsport.com.

“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.

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"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.”


Mekies reckons there is “more to come” from Tsunoda who is getting all the attention he needs from his team.

"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,” added the Frenchman.

Tsunoda has also impressed his team this season with a new-found composure, which is a welcome development considering the many fiery radio messages that became the 24-year-old’s trademark in his previous years in F1.

The Japanese driver’s ability to stay calm under pressure and communicate effectively with the team is another sign of his growing maturity and confidence.

This well-rounded improvement positions him as a valuable asset for Visa Cash App RB moving forward.


“He is getting better [in dealing] with the low points," Mekies acknowledged. "China was a good example. He approached it in a rational way and we analysed together and he hit the ground running in Miami.

"So yes, it's a big step forward. It's played a massive role in our current success and we think there is more to come.

"You can also hear it on the radio. He is improving inside and outside the car."

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