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Explained: F1’s 2026 Rules & Regulation Changes

It's set to be all change in Formula 1 again in 2026 after the FIA unveiled radical new regulations aimed at producing closer racing and improving sustainability.

Formula 1

The plans, which were ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council on June 28, will see the size and weight of cars reduced, electrical power increased and eco fuels utilised in an attempt to achieve net zero carbon status by 2030.

So what are the 2026 F1 regulation changes? Here's everything you need to know.

New chassis to make cars lighter

In a bid to improve wheel-to-wheel racing, the new chassis design is smaller and lighter than the current generation of cars.

To achieve a more agile racing machine, the maximum wheelbase has been reduced by 200mm to 3400mm, while the width has been cut by 100mm to 1900mm.

There will also be a reduction in weight in order to achieve more nimble vehicles. 2026 cars are set to have a minimum weight of 768kg, a 30kg decrease from current concepts.

To further improve the prospects of closer racing, new chassis regulations will see downforce reduced by 30% and drag by 55%.

New aero innovations

2026 will see the introduction of an all-new active aerodynamic system, which involves movable front and rear wings.

The switchable configurations will either minimise fuel consumption or maximise cornering performance, with drivers able to alter between two modes in zones, like those used for the current DRS overtaking aid.

On straights, cars will switch to 'X-Mode', a low-drag configuration designed to maximise straight-line speed.

In contrast to the current cars, front wheel arches will be removed.

2026 cars will also feature a partially flat floor and a lower-powered diffuser in an attempt to reduce the ground effect.

No new fossil carbon to be burned

New F1 power units will run on fully sustainable fuels thanks to testing and research by F1 and ARAMCO, meaning no new fossil carbon will be burned, instead coming from non-food sources, municipal waste or from the atmosphere.

There will also be a reduction in the amount of fuel used. F1 cars currently carry 100kg of fuel at the start of the race, but that's expected to be capped at around the 70kg mark. Not that it will impact engine performance, with power units still delivering over 1,000 brake-horse power.

The 2026 regulations coincide with the FIA's objective of reaching net zero carbon by 2030.

Increase in electrical power

Redesigned power units will possess almost 300 per cent more battery power with an even split between internal combustion and electric power.

Even with the removal of the MGU-H, the new hybrid systems will be more powerful than their predecessors, with the battery element of the power unit to increase from 150kW to 350kW.

The amount of energy that can be recuperated during the braking phase now expected to double, which will aid drivers in capture and redeployment.

Boost system to replace DRS

The somewhat controversial Drag Reduction System will be no more in 2026, with F1 discarding the concept to accommodate aerodynamic alterations and replacing it with a feature called Manual Override Mode.

Created to improve overtaking opportunities, the electrical power deployment from the MGU-K will provide drivers with an energy boost while attempting to overtake a competitor.

The technical details stipulate that a following car will benefit from MGU-K Override, which will provide 350kW up to 337kph and +0.5MJ of extra energy.

Drawing comparisons to the KERS system used from 2009 to 2013, there is an emphasis on driver strategy as deployment can result in an energy deficit.

F1 2026 teams and power unit suppliers

Team

Engine supplier

Alpine

Renault

Aston Martin

Honda

Audi

Audi

Ferrari

Ferrari

Haas

Ferrari

McLaren

Mercedes

Mercedes

Mercedes

RB

Red Bull-Ford

Red Bull

Red Bull-Ford

Williams

Mercedes

2026 will see a record number of engine manufacturers participating in the sport.

With the assistance of Ford, Red Bull are to produce their own engine for the very first time, under the name Red Bull Ford Powertrains.

Honda will be making a return to F1, albeit as an engine supplier to Aston Martin. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted Red Bull would "absolutely not" have set up their own engine division if they had known Honda were to make a swift comeback.

And with design guru Adrian Newey currently on the market following his departure from Red Bull, Aston Martin are one of several teams that are extremely keen to snap up the 65-year-old up for his interpretation of the new regulations.

Audi are also set to join the grid and assemble their own power units, with the team taking over Sauber following the conclusion of the 2025 season.

Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes are to continue with the delivery of engines, with the latter supplying three teams.

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