The Dutchman recently expressed concerns that the new regulations could potentially transform the competition into a major development battle among the manufacturers.
However, McLaren and Williams, the only two teams theoretically left with a choice regarding their 2026 Power Unit (PU) selection, disagree with this perspective. They believe that Mercedes, their current supplier, will deliver a powerful package, and the importance of the chassis will persist.
“Our collaboration with Mercedes has been exceptional, so it’s hard to imagine them falling short, irrespective of the final rules,” remarked McLaren CEO, Zak Brown.
“Creating a competitive car is always a mix of the driver, chassis, and power unit. I don’t see that changing, be it under this regulation, the next one, or any future regulations.”
James Vowles, Team Principal, Williams Racing, at the Team Principals Press Conference
Photo by: FIA Pool
Williams team principal James Vowles concurred that one supplier might get an initial edge, similar to what Mercedes achieved when the current rules were implemented. However, he insisted that such an advantage would equalize soon.
“With any power unit regulation change, there’s potential for winning or losing. Mercedes executed extraordinarily well during the 2013/14 modifications, which serves as a prime example,” Vowles said.
“Sure, in the years prior, some power unit suppliers stood out, but things quickly stabilized into a uniform formula.
“Our alliance with Mercedes has a robust history and they’ve maintained a strong presence in the sport for two decades. In my opinion, irrespective of your choice of alliance, things will soon balance out into a reasonable position.
“It’s inaccurate to assume that the chassis will lose its significant influence. I believe there’s plenty of potential within the raw current regulations to either outperform or underperform your competitors.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 2026 F1 Regulations
What are the concerns regarding the 2026 F1 regulations?
The main concern is that the new regulations may transform the competition into a major development battle between manufacturers, focusing more on power units (ICE) than other aspects of the car.
What is the perspective of McLaren and Williams on the 2026 F1 regulations?
McLaren and Williams, who theoretically still have a choice regarding their power units in 2026, have expressed confidence in Mercedes, their current supplier. They believe that Mercedes will provide a competitive package and that the chassis will continue to play a critical role.
How does James Vowles, the Williams team principal, view the potential changes in power unit suppliers due to the 2026 regulations?
James Vowles acknowledges that with any regulation change, some suppliers may initially have an advantage, as was the case with Mercedes during the 2013/14 rule changes. However, he believes that this advantage will equalize soon and the choice of power unit supplier will quickly reach a reasonable balance.
Do the teams believe the chassis will still be important in the 2026 F1 regulations?
Yes, both McLaren and Williams assert that the chassis will continue to have a significant influence on a team’s performance, regardless of the raw current regulations or potential power unit changes.