FIA admits 2026 Formula 1 technical regulation overhaul needs refinements amid concerns around grid

The FIA, Formula 1's governing body, has acknowledged that the upcoming technical regulation changes planned for 2026 will require further refinements.

Shubham Shekhar
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FIA Formula 1 proposed car model

FIA Formula 1 proposed car model (Source: FIA)

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The FIA, Formula 1's governing body, has acknowledged that the upcoming technical regulation changes planned for 2026 will require further refinements. This admission comes in response to concerns raised by teams and drivers about the proposed alterations.

During the Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA unveiled the proposed regulations and renderings of what the next generation of Formula 1 cars could look like. These new designs promise lighter and more agile cars, aiming to enhance the sport's excitement and competitiveness. 

However, the reaction has been mixed, with notable figures like seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton expressing doubts about whether these changes are beneficial for the sport. Several issues have been highlighted by teams and drivers, including concerns about the new cars' overall pace, weight, power unit usage, and potential limitations on design innovation. 

In Montreal, FIA's single-seater director, Nikolas Tombazis, admitted that the regulations are not yet finalized and that ongoing discussions with the teams are necessary to address these concerns. "We are not at the final set of regulations yet. We do have quite a few things we need to refine and discuss with the teams," Tombazis stated. 

Nikolas Tombazis outlines a timeline for the process!

Nikolas Tombazis further emphasized the FIA's awareness of the issues regarding downforce levels and straight-line speeds, which are among the primary concerns. These elements are seen as areas needing refinement before the final regulations are published.

Tombazis outlined a timeline for the refinement process, expecting significant additional work and consultations with teams and other stakeholders. "Between the end of the month, when these regulations would hopefully be published, and the start of 2025, when teams can start aerodynamic development, we expect a reasonable amount of extra work to be done in full consultation with the Formula 1 teams, with FOM and everybody else," he explained. 

This collaborative effort aims to ensure that the final regulations will address the raised concerns effectively. He also acknowledged the accuracy of the concerns, noting that current comments are based on an initial snapshot of the regulations. 

"I don't have any concern about these issues raised by people, but we have a full expectation to make some steps up for performance," Tombazis added. He further reassured that increasing the downforce of the new cars would be straightforward and that the final regulations would resolve any performance issues.

Addressing specific worries about straight-line speeds, FIA technical director Jan Monchaux assured that safety would not be compromised. "We will make sure the top speeds are not reaching levels which would be a safety concern, and we have means to do that," he stated.

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