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F1: 2026 car regulations coming into focus

We previously reported that the 2026 F1 regulations will aim for shorter and narrower cars, and now a bit more specifics have come to light.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

German publication AMuS has shed additional light on changes on the chassis side.

The sport will introduce new engine regulations from the 2026 season that will see the MGU-K being removed from the current Turbo-Hybrid power units being used in the sport.

As reported by AMuS, the increasing weight of the power unit will be compensated by making the width of the car smaller from 200 to 190 centimeters, and the overall wheelbase from 360 to 340 centimeters. It is also being reported that F1 will shift to six gears instead of its eight gearbox in the new regulations.

Smaller cars will also mean less downforce produced from the wings, with initial calculations suggesting a reduction of some 40 percent from the reduced air volume and car area.

They will be run on 100 percent sustainable fuels, with there being a clear 50-50 split between internal combustion engines and electrical power.

Finally, the aim is for only 70 kilograms of fuel in 2026, rather than the 100 kilos currently.

Horner Updates His Position on the 2026 Engines

After initially raising concerns about the 2026 engines, Christian Horner, the Red Bull F1 team boss, gives his take on the new engine regulations while appearing on the ESPN’s Unlapped podcast:

“I think things are moving in the right direction. Some of the stuff that the FIA have been looking at, they seem to be moving very much in a route that is going to produce competitive racing in 2026.”

“So yeah, I think it’s an important one that we need to get right and work collectively. That’s where sometimes, I think, self-interest needs to be left behind for the benefit of the sport. Things are definitely moving in the right direction now for 2026.”

Horner also took shots at his rival and Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff and told Sky Sports:

“Unfortunately, that’s typically Toto where he’s just focused on self-performance. My interest is actually about the sport rather than self-gain. It’s still way too early to say who’s going to have a competitive or uncompetitive engine in 2026.”

“For me, the most important thing is from a sports point of view, that we all have a collective responsibility to work with the FIA and the commercial rights holder to ensure that the product is as good as it can be; otherwise, we’ve all failed.”

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