The 2026 regulation gets people talking

The 2026 regulation gets people talking

While the FIA ​​presented this week the technical regulations which will be in place from the 2026 season, several voices were raised in the paddock to express concern about the consequences of certain choices made by the motorsport governing body.

Formula 1 is already looking towards its future.
Ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has lifted the veil on the technical regulations which will come into force from 2026. The stated ambition is to have single-seaters 30kg lighter, less bulky than the current generation and able to offer more shows on the track while increasing safety.. In addition, engine manufacturers have pushed for technologies that are more easily transposable to road vehicles. Beyond a simplification of the engine, there will be a more important place given to the electrical component when the thermal part will see its power reduced and will only use synthetic fuels. However, this new engine will not be able to exploit its full power permanently, requiring the FIA ​​and the teams to think about different solutions to try to maintain the level of performance of the single-seaters as close as possible to what can be observed at the current time.

This will involve the adoption of active aerodynamics at the level of the rear wing and the front wing, sounding the death knell for the DRS implemented in 2011 to help overtaking. These two elements will open together in a straight line to maximize top speed. A characteristic of the 2026 single-seaters, which the FIA ​​intends to enforce through very precise and restrictive standards, which is causing concern. The teams therefore requested the emergency organization of a meeting with the FIA ​​to warn of the possible consequences of this new particular the possibility of lacking aerodynamic downforce, according to information from the British magazine Autosport.

Russell warns of security needs

In addition, there are fears related to the management of electrical energy, which could regularly be lacking for drivers during races. Concerns that George Russell echoed at the start of the weekend. “ Cars will take a significant turn in terms of performance, confided the president of the pilots’ association (GPDA) at a press conference. They will be exceptionally fast on the straights, probably up to 360km/h on most circuits, which is impressive. It is obvious that safety must be improved, because an accident at 360 or 370 km/h is something a little crazy. » The Briton thus calls on the entire F1 community to “do careful work before these rules come into force, because the cars will be very fast” while the habit is to react after serious accidents. Fernando Alonso, for his part, has already warned that the objective of reducing the weight of single-seaters by 30kg will not be easy to achieve, in particular because of the greater volume of batteries that will be put in place.

« I already think that it is impossible to achieve 30 kilos reduction, said the Aston Martin driver. If the motor is 50% electric and you need the batteries to support that, the weight of the cars will only increase by 20 or 30 kilos because of the power unit. And then you want to reduce another 30kg. We therefore have to remove a total of 60kg compared to the current car, and this is probably an impossible objective for the teams at the moment. » If the Spanish driver is confident in the idea of ​​seeing the teams find solutions, he concedes that this will not be without consequences.

“A Formula 2.5 more than a Formula 1” according to a source

« As always in Formula 1, what is impossible in 2024 will become reality in 2026 because they are very intelligent people, he said. But I think it’s all a consequence of something else in the cars. » Lewis Hamilton, for his part, assures that the minimum weight set at 768kg goes “in the right direction” while adding that “it’s still heavy”. The seven-time world champion, although he was unable to test a draft of this new single-seater in the simulator, assures that
those who have already been able to do so confided that “it was quite slow”. A lack of performance which could damage the image of F1, seen as the pinnacle of motorsport. Indeed, a source cited by the British magazine
Autosport summarizes this new regulation as “
a Formula 2.5 more than a Formula 1 “. What Williams team boss James Vowles spoke about to the press.

“It is imperative that we remain the benchmark championship in motorsport. That’s how I see us, he said. We are the pinnacle. Consequently, we need to ensure that we maintain the level of performance and speed that we currently have. » Despite the fears highlighted in the paddock, the FIA ​​has already assured that the new regulations will be set in stone from June 28 and the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council. Indeed, one team would have opposed any postponement of this deadline, beyond which a majority of the teams will be needed to change the texts.

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