FIA Unveils 2026 Formula 1 Regulations: Lighter Cars, Advanced Power Units, and Enhanced Safety

The 2026 F1 cars will be 30 kg lighter, with a reduced wheelbase and width for improved agility and handling

By car&bike Team


3 mins read


Published on June 8, 2024

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  • The redesigned power unit will use sustainable fuels and will feature a 300 per cent increase in battery power.
  • The cars get new active aerodynamics systems.
  • Improved safety features include a two-stage front impact structure, increased side intrusion protection, and higher roll hoop load standards.

The FIA has revealed a new set of regulations for Formula 1, set for the sport from 2026 onwards. These regulations aim to make F1 cars more agile, competitive, safer, and sustainable. Here are the key features of the 2026 Formula 1 car:


Enhanced Agility and Performance

Improved safety features include a two stage front impact structure increased side intrusion protection and higher roll hoop load standards

One of the most significant changes is the reduction in car weight by 30 kg, making the vehicles lighter and more agile. The maximum wheelbase will be cut by 200 mm to 3400 mm, and the width reduced by 100 mm to 1900 mm. These adjustments are designed to create more dynamic and responsive cars, enhancing on-track battles and improving handling.


Advanced Power Units


The 2026 cars will feature a redesigned power unit with an increased reliance on electric power. The hybrid component will see a nearly 300% increase in electrical power, from 120 kW to 350 kW, while the internal combustion engine power will decrease slightly from 550-560 kW to 400 kW. This shift aims to achieve a more balanced power distribution, contributing to greater overall efficiency and sustainability. Additionally, energy recovery during braking will double to 8.5 megajoules per lap, providing extra power for acceleration out of corners.


Active Aerodynamics

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The introduction of active aerodynamics is set to transform racing strategies. Movable front and rear wings will allow cars to switch between configurations that minimise fuel consumption or maximise cornering performance. This system will enable higher cornering speeds and conversely greater straight-line speed when needed, enhancing overtaking opportunities.


Safety Improvements


Safety remains a top priority with several key enhancements. The new regulations include a two-stage front impact structure to prevent detachment during crashes, increased side intrusion protection, and improved protection around the driver and fuel cell areas. Roll hoop loads will increase from 16G to 20G, aligning with other single-seater formulas, and lateral safety lights will be added to indicate the Energy Recovery System (ERS) status, ensuring the safety of drivers and marshals.


Commitment to Sustainability

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Sustainability is at the forefront of the 2026 regulations. The power units will run on 100 per cent sustainable fuels, a significant step towards Formula 1's goal of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2030. This means no new fossil carbon will be burned, with fuel derived from non-food sources, genuine municipal waste, or even atmospheric carbon. These changes align with broader environmental goals and make F1 a leader in sustainable automotive technology.


Attraction of New Manufacturers


The revised regulations have already attracted commitments from six power unit manufacturers, including returning and new entrants. Ferrari, Mercedes, and Renault will be joined by Honda, Audi, and Ford, the latter through a partnership with Red Bull Powertrains. This influx of manufacturers is expected to foster greater competition and innovation within the sport.


Nikolas Tombazis, FIA Single Seater Technical Director, highlighted the vision behind these regulations: “With this set of regulations, the FIA has sought to develop a new generation of cars that are fully in touch with the DNA of Formula 1 – cars that are light, supremely fast, and agile but which also remain at the cutting edge of technology.”


FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem echoed these sentiments, emphasising the collaborative effort behind the new rules: “Following the publication of 2026 power unit regulations two years ago, we have taken the opportunity to redefine the chassis regulations to match the energy requirement of the new power units. This unique revision will ensure our premier championship is even more relevant to what is happening in the world.”








Last Updated on June 10, 2024

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