“Immediate focus” required to prevent F1 2026 rules from spoiling racing – Says Horner
As reported by F1 Flow.com, F1 squads have been requesting a comprehensive analysis of the 2026 vehicles’ potential impact and their engines from the FIA. Concerns have been raised over the vehicles’ track performance.
The growing emphasis on battery utilization, aiming for a 50/50 balance between combustion engine and electric power production, is feared to backfire. Critics warn it might limit cars’ ability to maintain high speed for an entire lap due to energy production constraints.
Although the FIA asserts control over the situation, saying it’s too early for concerns, Horner emphasizes the importance of cautiousness. He suggests considering a reduction in reliance on electric power.
“We might need to prioritize a review of the balance between combustion and electric power before it’s too late,” Horner suggested during the Austrian Grand Prix.
He further stressed, “[We need] to prevent building a technical monster that demands chassis adjustments to such an extent that it affects racing – eliminating towing effects and DRS as cars effectively run in that state all the time.
He added, “Additionally, we should ensure that the combustion engine does not merely become a battery recharging generator.”
Horner insists the issue isn’t complex and could be addressed by a simple 5% shift in the combustion/electric power balance. However, he emphasizes that the matter is crucial and must be handled correctly.
“We still have two and a half years, and a slight adjustment might potentially improve the platform for the chassis,” he added.
Photo by: Mark Sutton / F1 Flow Images
“If not, we’ll be trying to adapt to undefined and uncommitted chassis regulations.”
Horner further emphasized, “We need to consider the whole picture, both from a technical perspective and, importantly, what constitutes F1.
“F1 should be about intense, wheel-to-wheel racing. We cannot risk losing that challenge by having drivers downshifting on straights to recharge batteries.
“I know the FIA is taking the issue very seriously and closely monitoring it as simulations advance.”
Alfa Romeo team principal, Alessandro Alunni Bravi, hailed the 2026 engine regulations, which have attracted Audi to his team. Nevertheless, he agreed that there’s room for betterment in the power unit rules and the chassis requirements.
Bravi stated, “Certainly, we can always enhance, as preserving F1’s DNA is crucial.
“These new regulations have been vital for Audi’s entrance into F1, and it’s beneficial for everyone, including all stakeholders, that we are enticing new manufacturers.
“Sustainability is a critical focus for car manufacturers, and all stakeholders are committed to presenting a good show and a good car.
“Then, the matter of ratio? It’s tough to say, but I concur with Christian that we need a holistic approach. It’s not just about the Power Unit (PU), but the overall package, the chassis and the engines.”
Horner also drew attention to another problem that needs consideration regarding the 2026 rules: the substantial weight of the batteries, which he termed as “colossal.”
“One significant impact for 2026 is weight,” he mentioned. “We’re looking at a nearly 30-kilogram swing in already hefty cars, which are nearing sportscar weights due to cooling requirements.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1 2026 rules
What concerns does Christian Horner have about the F1 2026 rules?
Christian Horner, team principal for Red Bull Racing, is concerned that the F1 2026 rules, which increase reliance on battery use, could negatively impact racing dynamics. He fears that a 50/50 split between combustion engine and electric power production might not provide enough energy for cars to maintain high speeds for an entire lap.
What solution does Horner suggest to address the issue?
Horner suggests a thorough review of the balance between combustion and electric power before it’s too late. He believes a simple 5% shift in this balance could potentially help without complicating matters.
How are other stakeholders reacting to the F1 2026 rules?
Alfa Romeo’s team principal, Alessandro Alunni Bravi, supports the 2026 engine regulations, claiming they have been crucial in attracting Audi into F1. However, he agrees there’s room for betterment in the power unit rules and the chassis requirements, advocating for a holistic approach.
What is another issue that Horner believes should be considered regarding the 2026 rules?
Apart from the electric power reliance, Horner also mentions the substantial weight of the batteries as an issue. He warns of a nearly 30-kilogram weight increase in cars due to these batteries, pushing the vehicles closer to sportscar weights.