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Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
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Special feature

The end of straight dilemma that highlights F1’s biggest ground effect headache

After two full seasons of Formula 1’s latest ground effect rules era, Red Bull is a clear head and shoulders above the rest. All of its rivals know exactly what each needs to deliver to put up a better fight in 2024, but whether any of them can achieve it is an entirely different proposition

The kind of dominance that Red Bull unleashed in Formula 1 last year is nothing new – as there have been plenty of times in history when one squad has stood head and shoulders above the rest. But what has perhaps been a bit different this time around is the fact that Red Bull produced such supreme form in the second year of a rules set.

It is not untypical for one team to stand clear above its rivals when new regulations come into force – as it is obvious one squad will get things right from the off, before others cotton on and catch up. Red Bull did that in 2022 once it got excessive weight off its car and, based on the inevitable law of convergence, it was widely anticipated that everyone would close them down last year.

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