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F1 2026 Regulations: Drivers Voice Concerns Over Potential Speed and Competition Impact

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Drivers react to concerns over F1's 2026 regulations

Lewis Hamilton, along with several other drivers, has expressed worries about the upcoming changes to F1 rules set for 2026.

Formula 1 drivers have been expressing their opinions on the new regulations set to be implemented in 2026.

On Thursday, the FIA, which oversees Formula 1, disclosed preliminary information regarding the upcoming regulatory changes, just before the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend.

The upcoming vehicles are set to be more compact and agile, incorporating advanced, eco-friendly power units that run on entirely sustainable fuels. In total, they will shed 30kg in weight and be 10cm less wide.

The announcement has received varied responses, with Lewis Hamilton and other drivers expressing worries that the new F1 cars might not be fast enough.

Hamilton described the new regulations as a move in the "right direction" but noted that "they are still heavy," according to the seven-time world champion.

"I only just saw what everyone else saw this morning, so I haven't had much time to form a strong opinion," remarked Mercedes driver Hamilton, who is set to race for Ferrari when the new regulations are implemented.

I’ve talked to a few drivers who have tested the 2026 car on the simulator, and they mentioned that it feels quite sluggish. We'll have to wait and see if this is the correct approach.

"However, regarding sustainability, especially concerning the power unit aspect, I believe this is a significant and positive move forward."

"However, it is crucial that we ensure the cars are both efficient and quick, representing genuine progress, and that the overall racing experience is enhanced."

Hamilton added that "usually, when the FIA makes changes, some teams benefit more than others."

"Let's hope these new rules don't have a significant impact."

The vehicles will include a new tool for facilitating overtaking that will take the place of DRS, along with advanced active aerodynamics referred to as "Z-Mode" and "X-Mode".

Hamilton wasn’t the only driver to voice concerns. Williams' Alex Albon mentioned, "I don't want to say too much, but I believe it’s going to be very slow, extremely slow."

"I suppose significant efforts are likely being made to ensure that straight-line speeds remain consistent, especially with the involvement of the MGU-K and other related components."

"I believe there is still some work that needs to be completed. Observing the work we've accomplished so far and analyzing the speed data from various tracks, it's evident that the pace is quite slow."

"The dimensions of the cars seem to be moving in the right direction. While there are pros and cons to consider, it appears that the complexity of the new engine regulations is making everything more intricate."

"We're planning to take a different approach with the aerodynamics, and I'd prefer if we could simplify the engines a bit. Maybe we could use more standardized components in the engines or something along those lines, and go back to more straightforward regulations."

Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin contended that the effectiveness of the new regulations will be evaluated based on their ability to enhance competition.

"The ability to overtake and engage in more competitive racing with smaller cars will be the most enjoyable aspect for drivers," the Spanish driver commented.

"In our view, the key factor is having a tight competition where numerous teams and drivers have the opportunity to secure a victory."

"We are not in favor of a single team dominating all the races for two or three consecutive years, so we hope that the 2026 regulations will address this issue."

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri agreed with Alonso, acknowledging that significant rule changes usually result in a wider gap among the competitors.

"Each time the rules have been altered, it has resulted in significant differences," Piastri remarked. "With the current regulations, we are only now beginning to close the gap with Red Bull."

"We have a role in society to lead in technological advancements and innovation, though it's arguable that this occasionally sacrifices the quality of racing."

"I think it’s likely that the teams will become more distinct in 2026 due to changes in aerodynamic and engine regulations."

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