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  1. #1
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    2026 Car Regulations, the future of the formula

    Well, now the chassis regs have been dropped and we can see where things are going.... sort of. There is rumor that the team bosses are meeting in Canada about concerns and thoughts with the regs, better to sort it out sooner rather than later.

    I'm still doing some digging and reading myself, but overall I think the new regs are going to vastly change things all around. The complexities of active aero along with the new powertrain are still probably heading things in the direction of strategy being a huge factor in races. It's hard to say how much slower the cars will be, but I wouldn't be shocked if they average 8-10 seconds slower per lap. This might not be a big factor if they are fast in the right places, but I can't see them cornering much faster with all the regs.... but time will tell.


    Chassis reg short notes:

    - Safety increases in the roll hoop and SIP areas, along with a two stage frontal impact area now. Lights to display ERS state for safety to drivers and track workers.

    - Floors will have less ground effect downforce and be flatter, with smaller diffusers. More inwash oriented wake control, which will probably trigger massive sidepod changes. No more front wheel arches. With the venturi tunnel being less important, cars will probably be able to ride higher, so suspension control would become more important again, as the cars wouldn't need to be as stiff.

    - X and Z modes, with X mode being DRS on steroids, impacting front and rear wings. Vastly reduced drag, claims of up to 50% reduction so cars remain fast on straights even with less available power. For now they are stating a target of any straight longer than 3 seconds will be long enough to allow the X mode.

    - Slightly narrower and shorter cars, along with narrower tires. Combined with the energy based fuel loads, weight might decrease in the area of 30Kg or so. The floor width trims slightly more than the overall width, and the front wings will be smaller as well, with fewer elements.


    For those that haven't really watched, the powertrain changes are big too, and a bit complex at times.

    In a nutshell.....

    Similar to current 1.6l engine, but producing less power, down to 400kW from the current 550 or so. A larger MGU-K will now generate and deliver more electrical energy, going from 120 to 350 kW. Tight constraints remain on max storage, but max harvest harvest per lap goes up.

    Deployment gets rather complex as well with a new override mode which will essentially replace DRS as it is now to aid in passing. When in normal mode, electrical energy is limited after 290kph, and tapers down to zero at 355kph. The override mode will allow full deployment to 337kph, so for that 47kph window the car within one second can deploy more energy.

    There are concerns that on many tracks the max energy harvest will never be reached due to few hard braking zones. In this case the harvest and deployment strategies will be very important.



    I'm trying to stay positive and not see all the doom and gloom some are claiming it might be. It will without doubt change the racing. I think it will shift the entire aero development concept down a new path, and the wing surfaces and opening will become a huge factor, while the body and underfloor development will be lesser than current. I think the sidepods will become bigger for aero and downforce benefit, with major underwashing vortices. But I guess time will tell.



    Will F1 2026 be a success, or will we be left wanting?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by airshifter View Post
    Will F1 2026 be a success, or will we be left wanting?
    If one team gets it 99% right and all the others are less than 90% then it'll be really dull.

    If they all get it 95% right then it could be great with close racing and a development battle for the remaining 5%.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, always true. I hate that they change regs when the trend is the cars converging currently. Changing regs just starts the shuffle all over again.

    That said, I'd personally be fine if they made for some extended testing sessions before the season starts, preferably with enough time between them to allow some development and changes. With these new regs I think the drivers might also need some more time to adapt and get ready for how the cars will work.

    I do think the current CFD and wind tunnel regs are working at bringing the cars together better. I hope they keep that up with the new formula and make sure everyone will have a chance to get in the game.

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