Verstappen’s scathing attack on ‘terrible’ 2026 F1 rules

Max Verstappen has launched a scathing attack on the 2026 F1 power unit regulations and thinks they will be “terrible”. 
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix,
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme. Formula…

The reigning world champion’s rant comes after Red Bull team principal Christian Horner warned that “urgent attention” is needed to make sure F1’s next set of power unit regulations do not ruin racing. 

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Red Bull’s concerns have already been dismissed by their rivals, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff suggesting Horner is “frightened” by the progress of his outfit’s own engine project. 

After dominating Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, Verstappen slammed the proposed rules, claiming the early simulation data he has seen “looks very bad”. 

“I've been talking about that as well with the team and I've seen the data already on the simulator as well. To me, it looks pretty terrible,” the Dutchman said.

“I mean, if you go flat-out on the straight at Monza, I don't know what it is, like four or five hundred before the end of the straight, you have to downshift flat-out because that's faster. I think that's not the way forward. Of course, probably that's one of the worst tracks. 

“But for me, the problem is, it looks like it's going to be an ICE competition, like whoever has the strongest engine will have a big benefit. But I don't think that should be the intention of Formula 1, because then you will start a massive development war again, and it will become quite expensive to find, probably a few horsepower here and there. I think it actually should be opposite. 

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post race FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post race FIA Press Conference…

“Plus, the cars probably have a lot less drag. So, it will be even harder to overtake on the straight. And then I think yeah, you have the active aerodynamics, which you can’t control. Well, it will be… I don't know… the system will control it for you. Which then I think makes it very awkward to drive, because I prefer to control it myself. 

“Of course, when you're behind someone, maybe you need more front or more rear. These kind of things. If the system starts to control that for you, I don't think that's the right way forward.”

Verstappen continued: “Plus, the weight is going up again. So yeah, we have to seriously look at this because I mean, ’26 is not that far away. 

“And at the moment, to me, it looks very bad from all the numbers and what I see from the data already. So, it's not something I'm very excited about at the moment."

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