Motor racing’s governing body is currently finalizing the framework for chassis regulations for the upcoming 2026 F1 Cars rules phase.
In addition to incorporating active aerodynamics to minimize drag during straight sections, the FIA has provided more specifics regarding potential changes.
In a recent interview with Motorsport.com’s Italian branch, Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s chief of single-seaters, mentioned a significant change would be the car’s size.
He said, “The wheel dimensions will be narrower. With adjustments to the rear wing and the overall structure, we’re looking to decrease the car’s weight by approximately 50kg.”
This suggests that the future might have more compact single-seater cars, both in terms of length and width. However, these proposed changes are still under consideration.
The 2026 F1 Cars will be Faster on the Straights but Slower in the Corners
With the reduced weight, the cars might have slightly decreased cornering speeds. While they might achieve higher speeds on straight paths due to being lighter, they’ll have a reduced aerodynamic force. This means there might be a need to amplify the hybrid system’s energy recovery to maintain satisfactory lap times.”Nikolas Tombazis
However, these proposed changes for 2026 have been met with skepticism. Earlier in the year, Red Bull expressed concerns about creating cars that might be challenging to race competitively.
Current World Champion Max Verstappen expressed reservations about the 2026 rule changes before the British Grand Prix in July. He shared his concerns with various media outlets, suggesting that the regulations might not be beneficial for F1.
Verstappen also mentioned that the 2026 engines might lead drivers to adopt unusual driving techniques, including downshifting on long straights to charge the hybrid systems.
There were also apprehensions about drivers potentially having to shift gears midway on straights to enhance their hybrid systems.
Nikolas Tombazis has said that the intention is to keep the cars competitive and not to detract from the racing. He indicated that some of the initial concerns regarding the 2026 cars’ performance might not have been grounded in the latest simulation data.
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