FIA admit F1 2026 rules need “refinements” amid team and driver fears

The FIA says they are open to addressing concerns about the proposed F1 2026 rules.

How the 2026 F1 cars will look
How the 2026 F1 cars will look

F1's governing body the FIA has admitted that the planned technical regulation overhaul for 2026 will need “refinements” amid fears and concerns from teams.

The FIA outlined the proposed changes for 2026 on Thursday at the Canadian Grand Prix, releasing render images of what the next generation of lighter, nimbler cars could look like.

But the plans have been met by a mixed response from drivers and teams alike, with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton questioning whether the rules are the “right direction” for the sport.

There have also been concerns raised about the outright pace of F1’s new generation of cars, as well as weight, power unit use and potential restrictions on design innovation.

“We are not the final set of regulations yet. We do have quite a few things we need to refine and discuss with the teams,” FIA single-seater director Nikolas Tombazis acknowledged in Montreal.

“We are fully conscious of the concerns over the levels of downforce of the cars or straight-line speeds. These are things that we class as the refinements that still need to take place.

“So between, let's say, the end of the month, when these regulations would hopefully be published, and the start of 2025 when teams can start aerodynamic development, because they cannot start earlier, we do expect a reasonable amount of extra work to be done in full consultation with the teams, with FOM and everybody else.

“Hopefully that will lead to some refinements that will be submitted to the World Council, maybe a bit later in the year and hopefully approved.”

Tombazis added: “I think the fears are accurate, because people are taking a snapshot of what the regulations are on a piece of paper now, and are making comments on the basis of what they see.

“I don't have any concern about these issues raised by people, but clearly we have full expectation to make some steps up for performance. And that's exactly why we've set the bar reasonably low to start with, so we can build up on that with collaboration with the teams. To increase the downforce of these cars is actually quite easy.

“So I understand the comments, but I don't think there's any concern these cars will be not faster than F2 or anything like that. I think that will be 100% resolved when we are in the final regs.”

Addressing concerns relating to straight line speed, FIA technical director Jan Monchaux said: “We will make sure the top speeds are not reaching levels which would be a safety concern, and we have means to do that.”

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