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Yuki Tsunoda Made “Huge Step” in 2024 F1 Season, Says Mekies

Yuki Tsunoda has been having a banger fourth year at RB with his boss, Laurent Mekies, praising the Japanese driver on his “huge step” in 2024....

Yuki Tsunoda has been having a banger fourth year at RB with his boss, Laurent Mekies, praising the Japanese driver on his “huge step” in 2024.

That praise is well earned considering that Tsunoda has scored at four of the six events so far with seven points at the most recent Miami Grand Prix. He has firmly established himself as the lead driver at the team while Daniel Ricciardo still adjusts to the VCARB01.

“Yuki has made a huge step this year,” Mekies told the media. “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.

“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.

“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.”

Error-free weekends have become essential in Formula 1 due to how close all the cars are in performance. We saw that in Miami when Daniel Ricciardo managed P4 in the sprint but having not reached the optimal tyre window during regular qualifying, he finished P15. Same driver, same track, different results.

Not only is Tsunoda capable of error-free weekends, but it has been made possible thanks to his managed temper. We hear Tsunoda on the radio all fired up and while that’s still the case, he doesn’t let his low points ruin his entire weekend.

“He is getting better [dealing] with the low points,” Mekies added. “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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