The early races have suggested that Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Aston Martin are set to dominate the top 10 in both qualifying and races, leaving everyone else to challenge for rare opportunities to break into the points.

RB now leads that group after Yuki Tsunoda secured seventh place in the high-attrition Australian Grand Prix, having qualified an encouraging eighth.

“The team topping that midfield is sixth, that’s where we are right now,” Mekies told Autosport.

“It probably reflects where we have been in every race for these first three races, with our ups and downs.

“It’s only race three, it’s a long way to go. And we know that classification is actually is going to change, because we see now that one team brings a one-tenth update, and it’s going to happen many times, and you will move up and down that that group.

“So it’s both a development race and a perfect-execution race. Which is fantastic, it’s great for the fan, it’s great for all of us as competitors. It’s also how we grow, how we learn, and I’m very proud that the team could execute perfectly with Yuki in Australia.”

Laurent Mekies, Team Principal, RB F1 Team

Laurent Mekies, Team Principal, RB F1 Team

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Mekies says that RB can’t become too complacent despite its strong start to the season. 

“We need to keep our feet on the ground and work harder than even before because this midfield is brutal,” he said. “And it’s only by pushing it to the very maximum in every single department that we can keep that very tiny edge.

“It doesn’t mean that now we have this position or that we are going to top the midfield all the time. It’s a fight for the last tenth every race weekend. Japan will be a big reset, and again, one or two tenths of nailing everything will be able to slide you from P11 to P18.”

RB CEO Peter Bayer agreed that the Melbourne result was a useful boost for the team, especially after extra effort was made to fast-track upgrades.

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“It’s not only the points, it really is also that position that matters,” said the Austrian. “Because given those five teams, if they have two cars in the finish, then it’s almost impossible to score.

“It was great for the team, honestly. Because we were like sniffing at the points in Bahrain and in Jeddah, and the guys have been exhausted, they’ve been working hard, and at the factory in Faenza it was 24/7 seven days a week to bring the upgrade, to bring the new wing.

“And so it worked. It was a big relief for the team, and certainly a huge injection of adrenaline and motivation to push forward.

“Ultimately we’re a team half as big or maybe even less than then a Mercedes or an Aston, but there is a huge amount of emotion and passion in this team. It’s a fantastic group of people who work together and who stick together. I’m super happy for everyone here.”