F1 teams “edgy and angsty” about confusion over 2026 regulations

“You have to be really concerned by this"

2nd place Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB20 and 1st place Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World
2nd place Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB20 and 1st place Max…

The talk in the F1 paddock is that teams will only receive clear information about the 2026 regulations much later than they hoped.

Martin Brundle shared “concern” by the lack of clarity over the upcoming rule-change, while Karun Chandhok shared the worries of technical staff from F1 teams on the Sky F1 podcast.

The main gist of the 2026 change is that cars will become 50% powered by the internal combustion engine and 50% by battery.

Cars will also have moveable aerodynamics but worry has emerged after F1 teams tested it in simulators, but found their drivers either spinning or unable to turn efficiently, Autosport reported.

Chandhok explained on Sky: “The regulations haven’t fully been defined yet.

“What we know is the internal combustion engine, the amount of power will be reduced compared to the battery.

“From what we understand, there are still a lot of conversations going on, how they’re going to make it work.

“In order to get the amount of energy that you need to deploy, you need to take a significant amount of drag out of the car.

“There are conversations between the teams, the FIA, Formula 1’s technical department on what the best way is.

“There is a lot of conversation but no definition on what the chassis rules will be.

“This is the first time I can recall the chassis being dictated by the engine rules.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Race
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Brundle added: “You have to be really concerned by this.

“We’re 22 months away from these cars running, and it’s not defined.

“There will be a lot more battery power so the cars will probably be heavier and more complex.

“It feels to me that these regulations should have been cast in stone a year ago.

“Then you’ve got a new team coming in, like Audi. And Red Bull Powertrains starting up with Ford assistance.

“There are a lot of unknowns. I hope we’re getting it right.

“I expressed in commentary recently that hybrid engines are perhaps the worst decision F1 ever made. The cars are so big and so complex.

“But, my goodness, they are fast and impressive. We’ve sorted it out now. In the early days, it was a pain.

“We don’t want to go through that again.

In 2014, one PU was massively dominant.

“What you see in 2024 will be largely locked in for 2025 because who has the budget, the resource, to do a lot of work on their 2025 car when it’s such a change for 2026?

“The teams will be getting edgy and angsty about ‘what are the regulations? We need to put things to bed’.

“Luckily with the incredible resource and ingenuity of F1, they will sort it out.”

How long do F1 teams need in advance to prepare effectively for the 2026 rules?

“There is a balance,” Chandhok said. “Give them too much time and they simulate everything to death and spend too much money.

“We are at a point where it has to be defined.

“The teams, from what I understand after speaking to the technical people in Jeddah, were hoping for the rules to be locked in 100% by June.

“The feeling in the paddock is that they won’t get that, and that this conversation will rumble on until later this year.

“They think that is just too late. They would like a solid 18-20 months to the first race, or the first test, with the rules set in stone.

“There will be clarifications but you want the bulk of it sorted out.

“They still haven’t got firm clarity.”

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