F1 commission meeting declares ban on aero testing for the 2026 regulation
The flurry of F1 regulation changes continues as the organisation has banned aero testing for 2026.
Numerous regulation changes follow the recent F1 commission meeting. In order to stop the teams from gaining a competitive edge early on, the teams have been barred from starting development work on their 2026 car before the start of 2025.
An official statement read (via Motorsport.com):
"In order to prevent testing which aims to develop for the 2026 season, from 1/12/2023 until 1/1/2025 inclusive, RWTT [restricted wind tunnel testing] may only be carried out using a scale model that substantially complies with the 2023, 2024 or 2025 F1 technical regulations."
The statement further emphasizes that wind tunnel testing employing car geometry based on drafts or published versions of the 2026 technical regulations is strictly prohibited during this period. It read:
"With the exception of dyno testing aimed to develop brake system components with minimal air ducting and provided such tests do not concurrently test (or in any way provide incidental data or knowledge on) the performance or endurance of parts or systems classified as bodywork, no wind tunnel testing may be carried out using car geometry partially or wholly compliant with and/or substantially derived from drafts and/or published versions of the 2026 F1 technical regulations or FIA proposed 2026 bodywork geometries and concepts."
What are the other changes made to the F1 regulations?
Leading up to the 2024 season, fans can expect a number of changes to the 2024 regulations.
To start off, the FIA has gotten rid of references to the COVID era of racing, moving away from their era of zero attendance.
A total of 40 days will now be allocated for the Pirelli tire testing for the 2024 season instead of 35. On the other hand, the scrapping of the alternative tyre allocation has also been confirmed.
In the quest to enhance safety and performance, four days have specifically been allocated for an FIA project related to spray reduction testing. Meanwhile, the pitlane opening time has been reduced from 50 minutes to 40.
Teams are now restricted to working on cars in the fast lane until 90 seconds after the commencement of the formation lap, after which all personnel and equipment must clear the fast lane.
It remains to be seen if these rule changes help improve the competitiveness of the 2024 F1 season.