German publication reports interesting 2026 F1 technical regulations changes

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain
A rear view of the grid at the start of the race during the 2023 F1 British Grand Prix. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Though the 2026 F1 season is still quite far away, automotive giants competing in the sport have already started working on the new engines that will be introduced after three years. It is well known that the FIA will be making one of the biggest technical regulation changes in 2026, along with allowing teams to come up with brand-new power units for their cars.

However, since there is a lot of time left before the sport hits 2026, the regulations are being tweaked to further promote closer racing, reduce the sport's carbon footprint, and overall improve F1 as a whole.

Recent changes and updates to the 2026 F1 regulations

Though it is clear that the 2026 power units will use sustainable fuels and will run a lot more on electrical power, the German publication Auto-Motor-und-Sport recently reported the discussion regarding the balance between electrical power and power from fuel.

In today's F1 car, the MGU-K generates around 120 kilowatts (163 hp) of the total output. The proposed regulation was that it should generate nearly 350 kilowatts (475 hp) in a 2026 car.

Formula 1 technical director Pat Symonds proposed an idea of how two 130-kilowatt generators and an additional 130-kilowatt energy from the rear would have done the trick.

However, the manufacturers did not want that to happen because of the extra weight, even though this would have reduced the fuel weight from 110 kg to 70kg. Additionally, this would have further shifted the overall power output towards electrical since a lot of fuel is needed to recharge the batteries for the proposed 350 kilowatts of power.

Since the manufacturers did not comply with this regulation, the fuel weight was once again increased to 100 kg, 30kg of which will be used to charge the batteries to generate electrical power. Hence, the combustion engine will no longer deliver 560 kilowatts (760 hp) as it did in 2023 but between 400 and 420 kilowatts (545 to 570 hp).

In 2026, the overall power output will no longer be calculated by the amount of fuel but by the energy provided. It will be around 3000 megajoules, rather than 100 kg of fuel per hour.

Though the issue of weight still remains an issue, everyone has agreed to shorten the wheelbase of the cars by 30 centimeters. Lastly, the FIA has also proposed changing the gearbox from having eight gears to just six.

Of course, these changes are not set in stone, as they could alter once again as F1 moves towards 2026.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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