Recently, worries about potentially detrimental effects on the spectacle caused by missteps with the new 2026 cars have been increasing.
World champion Max Verstappen expressed his dissatisfaction after a simulated run with the 2026 car. He explained he had to downshift gears mid-straight to recharge the battery, making the experience far from enjoyable. Verstappen commented, “To me, it seems quite awful.”
While Verstappen’s team, Red Bull, pushes for modifications to improve the situation, high-ranking technical figures within F1 take a more relaxed view.
According to F1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds, apprehensions about the 2026 setup are too hasty. He believes such concerns are influenced by outdated data and evolving regulations.
The Latest Model
Symonds and his team at F1 and the FIA have accelerated computer simulations of the 2026 project in recent months, thanks to their partnership with AWS that gives them access to massive computational power.
The latest F1 car model is significantly different from previous ones, presenting completely new performance dynamics.
Symonds, speaking to F1 Flow.com about concerns surrounding the 2026 rules, said that teams often spend a significant portion of their budget on concerns.
Symonds also pointed out that the FIA’s head of aerodynamics, Jason Somerville, who is leading the 2026 car project, is satisfied with the current progress.
Symonds noted that while teams recognize the challenges of the 50/50 split between combustion power and electrical energy, they also accept that the regulations will change once published.
Efforts to Improve Racing
In addition to refining the energy management and adjustable aero features of the 2026 cars, Symonds noted F1’s focus on improving the racing experience.
One significant objective being considered is to eliminate the ongoing issue of races getting bogged down by DRS trains.
Symonds emphasized that they also need to carefully consider the sporting regulations, especially regarding energy recovery and deployment. This wouldn’t just be a technical task but a sporting one as well.
Computational Power Advantage
Symonds acknowledged the advantage of F1’s vast computational resources for CFD simulation, in partnership with AWS, which provides a high degree of confidence that they are on the right path for 2026.
Despite the past issues with CFD, the partnership with AWS has allowed them to run incredibly complex models. They are still performing wind tunnel testing, which has further bolstered their confidence.
Related: Vasseur: F1 should be open to change on 2026 power unit regulations
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1 2026 Regulations
What concerns have been raised regarding the new F1 cars for 2026?
The main concern that has been voiced is that missteps with the new cars could potentially ruin the spectacle. The issue was brought into focus by world champion Max Verstappen, who wasn’t satisfied with the experience of having to downshift gears mid-straight to recharge the battery during a simulated run.
Who has expressed dissatisfaction about the 2026 F1 car?
World champion Max Verstappen has expressed his dissatisfaction. He found having to downshift gears mid-straight to recharge the battery during a simulated run with the 2026 car to be a far from enjoyable experience.
What is the response of F1’s senior technical figures to the concerns about the 2026 regulations?
F1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds believes that concerns about the 2026 setup are premature. He suggests that these fears are influenced by outdated data and regulations that are in the process of being refined.
What are F1’s objectives for the 2026 cars?
In addition to refining the energy management and adjustable aero features of the 2026 cars, F1 is focusing on improving the racing experience. One significant objective is to eliminate the ongoing issue of races getting bogged down by DRS trains.
What kind of technological advantage does F1 have for preparing for 2026?
F1, in partnership with AWS, has access to vast computational resources that are being used for CFD simulation. This computational power is helping them run incredibly complex models and provides a high degree of confidence that they are on the right path for 2026.