June 16, 2024
Motorsports

FIA unveils major regulation changes for 2026 Formula 1 car designs with new renderings

The FIA has just released the regulations for the 2026 Formula 1 season and showcased renderings of the new car design, which can be viewed in the gallery above.

In a significant change from previous regulations, the 2026 cars will be smaller and lighter. The wheelbase will be reduced by 200 mm to 3,400 mm; width will decrease by 100 mm to 1,900 mm, and weight will be cut by 66 lbs to 1,693 lbs. The Pirelli tires will also be smaller, with the front width decreasing by 25 mm and the rear by 30 mm. However, the 18-inch wheels introduced in 2022 will remain.

Major aerodynamic changes are on the horizon, with teams now allowed to design active aerodynamics for both the front and rear wings. The front wing will have a two-element flap, while the rear will feature three elements. The active aerodynamics system can be manually activated by the driver, but only in designated safe areas on the track. The FIA expects these changes to result in 55% less drag and 30% less downforce compared to current cars, potentially leading to closer racing.

The powertrains will also undergo changes, with the 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine running on 100% sustainable fuel and producing approximately 536 horsepower, down from the current 738 horsepower. The electric component will contribute around 470 horsepower, aiming for a near 50-50 split between combustion and electric power. Energy harvesting capabilities from braking will increase, with teams expected to harvest about 8.5 megajoules per lap.

For 2026, drivers will have access to an “MGU-K Override” switch, similar to DRS, providing a boost of power at high speeds to aid overtaking. Safety features have also been upgraded, including a new two-stage nose design, enhanced side intrusion protection, and improved fuel cell protection. Safety lights will be installed to indicate the status of a car’s energy recovery system for the safety of drivers and marshals.

FAQ

Q: Will the 2026 Formula 1 cars be faster than the current cars?

A: Formula 1 expects the 2026 cars to have around 120 horsepower more than today’s cars, so they are projected to be faster despite the changes in regulations.

Conclusion

The 2026 Formula 1 season will bring significant changes to the cars, with a focus on reducing drag, increasing energy efficiency, and enhancing safety features. These updates aim to improve racing and create a more sustainable future for the sport.

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