Laurent Mekies on Yuki Tsunoda: “Very strong so far” / Formula 1

Laurent Mekies on Yuki Tsunoda: “Very strong so far” / Formula 1

The Formula 1 midfield is fiercely competitive, and in the fight for the last places, Yuki Tsunoda was able to shine in Australia and Japan. The Japanese received high praise from team boss Laurent Mekies.

Yuki Tsunoda has lived up to the expectations of the Racing Bulls team management so far this season: the Japanese finished in the top 10 in qualifying for the third time in a row in front of his home crowd, and finished the home race in tenth place after. His seventh position is solid in Melbourne in points.

The 23-year-old managed to get all the previous World Cup points for the racing team from Faenza – and the time report Laurent Mekies gave him was just as good. The 46-year-old Frenchman, who shares the role of team boss at world champion Red Bull Racing’s sister team with Peter Bayer, thinks highly of the young racing driver from Kanagawa Prefecture.

In an interview with, the engineer says: “Yuki has been very strong so far this year. And we have often said that he has been surprising the Formula 1 world with his great progress in performance. We are now competing in the fourth GP year together and he was able to step up again this time.”

“And we are at the beginning of a long season, there are still many races in the program,” emphasizes Mekies, who also mentions his own role in Tsunoda’s development: “Our job is to create an environment in which he can develop further. And so far we are very pleased with his progress .”

Mekies doesn’t have an easy answer to the question of what makes a good Formula 1 driver. “It’s really about speed, because that’s what everything in this business is about,” he says. “But that’s not enough. You want more speed, but this sport has become so technologically demanding, so difficult and so competitive in a positive sense, that the driver has to be more qualified.

“It also has a big role when it comes to using the potential of the whole team and each employee individually. It’s up to everyone to get the best out of themselves and the car, and the drivers have an important role in this, in this sense they are part of the management of the company, ” explains the former race engineer.

Japan-GP, Suzuka Circuit

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:54:23,566 h
02. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, +12.535 seconds
03. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, +20,866
04. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, +26,522
05. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, +29.700
06. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, +44,272
07. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, +45,951
08. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, +47.525
09. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, +48,626
10. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Bulls Racing, +1 Round
11. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1 lap
12. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, +1 Round
13. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, +1 Lap
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), clean, +1 lap
15. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, +1 Round
16. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, +1 Round
17. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, +1 Round
Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, Elektrik
Alex Albon (T), Williams, Crash
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, Crash

World Championship Standings (after 4 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 77 points
02. Perez 64
03. Leclerc 59
04. Sainz 55
05. Norris 37
06. Plate 32
07. Russell 24
08. Alonso 24
09. Hamilton 10
10. Walk 7
11. Tsunoda 7
12. Oliver Bearman (GB) 6
13. Hulkenberg 3
14. Magnussen 1
15. Alboni 0
16. Zhou 0
17. Ricciardo 0
18. Okon 0
19. 0 gas
20. Bota 0
21. Sergeant 0

Builders Cup
01. Red Bull Racing 141 Punkte
02. Ferrari 120
03. McLaren 69
04. Mercedes 34
05. Aston Martin 33
06. Running Bull 7
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine