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Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20
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Formula 1 Canadian GP
Special feature

Were Red Bull's 2024 upgrades really a downgrade?

ANALYSIS: Red Bull's upgrades were labelled a "downgrade" by a rival ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, yet Max Verstappen went on to win the race. As on-track events displayed and JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains, it's not so easy to square the circle with the idea that the Milton Keynes squad has taken a step backwards.

So it's come to this. Red Bull fails to win two of the past four races and we, so starved and desperate for the faintest whiff of a competitive order, assume that something's gone terribly wrong somewhere in Milton Keynes. It's been hard to get used to the idea that a handful of teams have made genuine progress so far this year, although the appearances of Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes at the front have nonetheless been welcome.

Last season, it would have felt very weird to say that after a Max Verstappen victory, such was the Dutchman's complete and utter irrepressibility in 2023. His wins came with an intoxicating air of inevitability, even on the days when his car was slightly less dominant over the chasing pack. Spare a thought for this writer's opposite number Alex Kalinauckas, who reported on races which only Verstappen won last season...

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