Laurent Mekies (Running Bull): “It’s going to be brutal” / Formula 1

Laurent Mekies (Running Bull): “It’s going to be brutal” / Formula 1

In the Australian doctor, Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda got a good seventh place. Racing Bulls climbed to 6th place in the constructors’ cup Laurent Mekies says what’s next.

After the first three GP weekends in 2024, Formula 1 presents itself as a two-tiered race: If things go well for Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Aston Martin, then the top ten points-worthy places will be taken.

Behind them, Racing Bulls, Haas, Williams, Sauber and Alpine are fighting for the scraps. Of these five racing teams, only Racing Bulls and Haas have so far been able to claim championship points.

Laurent Mekies, boss of the Racing Bulls team (officially Visa Cash App RB), is convinced: “Whoever is ahead in the midfield is the sixth, and at the moment it is us. But we’ve only had three race weekends behind us and we still have a long season ahead of us.

“We know that the order will change again, depending on how improvements are made to the car, how the track and conditions suit one or the other race car or how well the job is done on a particular GP weekend.”

The 46-year-old Frenchman continued: “If you want to win, you have to develop yourself effectively and execute your race weekend as perfectly as possible. All this is good for the fans and a big challenge for us as competitors. In Japan we did almost everything right and as a reward we got this seventh place from Yuki.

“But we are putting our feet on the carpet. Only if we work harder will we be able to hold our ground, because this battle in midfield will be brutal.”

“In Australia we were happy as sixth in the standings, but that’s no guarantee that things will continue like this. There will also be an all-out battle for every tenth of a second at Suzuka, and if you drop a tenth behind for whatever reason, then you will not end up in eleventh place, but only in 18th place.

Racing Bulls CEO Peter Bayer confirms: “If the top five teams don’t make any mistakes, then it’s difficult to get points. But you have to put yourself in a position to be able to benefit when one of the fastest contenders weakens, as we witnessed in Melbourne.”

“The team had worked day and night to get the new wing ready for the weekend in Australia and it was great to see how their work was rewarded. That was a huge motivational boost, also for the next weekend in Japan.”

Tsunoda has never scored at the home GP in Suzuka: in 2022 he finished thirteenth and twelfth in 2023.

Australien-GP, Albert Park Circuit

01. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:20:26.843 h
02. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, +2,366 sec
03. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, +5.904
04. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, +35,770
05. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, +56,309
06. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, +1:33,222
07. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, +1:35,601
08. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, +1:40.992*
09. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1:44.553
10. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, +1 Lap
11. Alex Albon (T), Williams, +1
12. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, +1
13. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, +1
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Sauber, +1
15. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, +1
16. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, +1
George Russell (GB), Mercedes, accident
Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, engine failure
Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, Bremsdefekt

*20 second time penalty for braking in the fight with George Russell
Entry waived: Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams
(Alex Albon crash in free practice, no replacement chassis in Australia)

World Championship Standings (after 3 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 51 points
02. Leclerc 47
03. Perez 46
04. Sainz 40
05. Plate 28
06. Norris 27
07. Russell 18
08. Alonso 16
09. Walk 9
10. Hamilton 8
11. Tsunoda 6
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 97 Punkte
02. Ferrari 93
03. McLaren 55
04. Mercedes 26
05. Aston Martin 25
06. Running Bull 6
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine 0