EXPLAINED: 2026 Formula 1 regulation changes

Published on
07 Jun 2024
Est. reading time
2 Min

Read on to see all the alterations taking place in 2026

The FIA has released the much-anticipated regulations for the 2026 chassis update and previously confirmed updated power unit regulations.
Here is everything you need to know about the new look coming to Formula 1 in two years' time.
Cars will be made 30kgs lighter than the current configuration to further agility
More specifically, the maximum wheelbase has been reduced by 200mm, and the width has been slimmed down by 100mm.
In combination with the significant reduction in minimum weight, the FIA say that car downforce has been reduced by 30% and drag by 55%.
These changes are set to improve the handling and efficiency of the cars for more cutting-edge battles on the track.
A reworked power unit utilising 100% sustainable fuels and increased electric power of up to almost 300%
The power of the 2026 hybrid unit will be reduced from the current 550-560kw output to 400kw. However, the electrical power has been upgraded from 120kw to 350kw.
What’s more, the amount of energy that can be recuperated in the car's braking phase when taking on corners has doubled to 8.5 MJ per lap.
A commitment from six different power unit manufacturers has been made for the 2026 regulations, which includes Mercedes.
Moveable front and rear wings
2026 regulation changes will see cars have all-new active aerodynamics, which involves adjustable front and rear wings.
These new aero innovations will promote greater cornering speeds, lower drag, and greater straight-line speed with the change of angle.
Enabled in specific zones, the new system will mirror the current DRS overtaking format.
An MGU-K Override Mode that allows additional electrical power deployment for the following car
To increase the number of overtaking opportunities, the FIA has announced a manual overtaking mode called ‘MGU-K Override’ that provides 350kW for up to 337kph.
It will be deployed at any point when a driver is within one second of the car in front.
Further safety reinforcements through more rugged testing and robust structures
With changes implemented to further on-track entertainment, safety remains at the forefront with these 2026 regulations.
Front impact structure rules introduce a two-stage nose design to lower the potential of detachment upon initial impact, while defence around the driver and fuel cell has been upgraded.
In addition to material car improvements, side intrusion rules have been made more stringent.
James talks all-things 2026 in Montreal
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