Horner dismisses Wolff’s claim of fear regarding progress on 2026 F1 engines
His primary concern revolves around the possibility of engines losing power on straight stretches due to insufficient battery strength, which, when combined with cars unable to compensate in terms of performance, could negatively impact the spectacle.
Horner is adamant that if the FIA fails to align the chassis regulations properly with the engines, it could result in the creation of problematic “Frankenstein” cars.
However, Wolff, the head of Mercedes, has expressed skepticism about Horner’s stance, suggesting that the complaints are motivated by selfish competitive reasons.
Wolff stated, “I believe what truly frightens him is the lack of progress in his own engine program, and perhaps he wants to undermine the rules in that manner. Therefore, it is important to question the true motivations behind such statements.”
Nevertheless, Horner is far from impressed with Wolff’s comments and has made it clear that his top priority is to ensure that F1 avoids any missteps as it finalizes the 2026 rules package.
When asked about Wolff’s remarks, Horner responded, “Unfortunately, that’s typical of Toto, who is solely focused on personal performance. My interest lies in the well-being of the sport rather than personal gain.”
He added, “It is still too early to determine which engines will be competitive or uncompetitive in 2026. From a sporting perspective, the most important aspect is that we all have a collective responsibility to collaborate with the FIA and the commercial rights holder to ensure the product reaches its fullest potential. Otherwise, we will all have failed.”
According to F1Flow.com, early simulations of the 2026 engines indicate that if they were used in current cars, which have high drag levels, power could be an issue in a few races.
However, the FIA remains confident that its efforts to develop active aerodynamics and reduce drag on straight sections will prevent any such issues when the cars hit the track for real.
Horner believes it is crucial to speak up because teams have encountered issues as they gain a better understanding of the implications of the new rule set.
“The regulations are a hybrid of the original intentions,” Horner explained. “It is only through the process of working with a set of regulations that we discover their limitations.”
He continued, “I believe the FIA is acting responsibly by conducting thorough due diligence. Several teams share similar opinions on this matter.”
When asked if he trusts that the FIA is taking the matter seriously enough, Horner replied, “Yes, I believe so. They have a competent team and are fully aware of the challenges we face.”
He also mentioned the FIA president’s recent comments regarding weight, acknowledging that reducing weight is not a simple task given the increase in cell size and the corresponding cooling requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1 engine progress
What are the concerns raised by Horner about the 2026 F1 engine progress?
Horner is concerned that the batteries of the engines may not be powerful enough, causing a loss of power on straights. He worries that this, combined with cars unable to compensate in terms of performance, could negatively impact the racing experience.
How does Toto Wolff respond to Horner’s concerns?
Toto Wolff suggests that Horner’s complaints are driven by selfish competitive reasons. He speculates that Horner may be worried about the lack of progress in his own engine program and wants to undermine the rules as a result.
What is Horner’s response to Wolff’s claims?
Horner dismisses Wolff’s remarks and emphasizes that his priority is the well-being of the sport, rather than personal gain. He believes it is too early to determine which engines will be competitive in 2026 and stresses the importance of collective responsibility to work with the FIA and the commercial rights holder.
What challenges have teams encountered with the new rule set?
As teams gain a better understanding of the implications of the new rules, issues have emerged. The regulations are a hybrid of the original intentions, and it is through the process of working with them that their limitations become apparent.
Is the FIA taking the matter seriously?
According to Horner, the FIA is taking the matter seriously. He expresses confidence in the FIA’s capable team and believes they are aware of the challenges faced. The FIA’s president has also addressed concerns such as weight reduction, indicating their commitment to addressing important aspects of the rules.