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F1 Drivers Express Concerns Over ‘Slow’ 2026 Regulations Amid Hopes for Sustainability and Competition

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Lewis Hamilton, along with several other racers, has expressed worries over the proposed changes to F1's rules set to take effect in 2026, as fears of reduced speeds surface.

F1 racers have been expressing their opinions on the sport's upcoming regulations, set to be implemented starting in 2026.

On Thursday, just before the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix weekend, the FIA, which oversees Formula 1, disclosed initial information regarding the forthcoming regulatory framework.

The upcoming vehicles will be more compact and agile, incorporating innovative, eco-friendly propulsion technology that utilizes completely sustainable fuels. In addition, they will weigh 30 kilograms less and be 10 centimeters slimmer.

The announcement has elicited a varied response, with Lewis Hamilton and other drivers expressing worries that the latest generation of F1 cars might be too sluggish.

Hamilton acknowledged that the new regulations are a move towards improvement, yet the seven-time world champion also mentioned that they remain burdensome.

"Mercedes driver Hamilton, who is set to race for Ferrari under the upcoming regulations, mentioned, “I've only just caught up with what everyone else saw this morning, so I haven't formed any significant opinions on it as of now.”

I've had conversations with a few drivers who have experienced operating the 2026 car model in the simulator, and their feedback suggests it performs at a slower pace. We're yet to determine if this approach is indeed beneficial.

"However, when it comes to sustainability, especially regarding the power unit aspect, I believe it's a truly audacious move that is steering us towards the right path."

"We must ensure the vehicles are optimized for efficiency and speed, truly advancing in design, and genuinely enhancing the racing experience."

Hamilton further mentioned that, typically, when the FIA implements changes, certain teams tend to outperform others.

"It's hoped that these rules won't have a significant impact."

The vehicles will introduce an innovative passing assistance mechanism to supplant the DRS, alongside advanced active aerodynamic systems, referred to as “Z-Mode” and “X-Mode”.

Albon from Williams wasn't alone in his concerns, as he stated, "I hesitate to overstep, but my feeling is that it will be significantly sluggish, to an extreme degree."

I assume there's considerable effort being put into ensuring that the direct speeds don't start to decline towards the end, especially with the involvement of the MGU-K and other components.

"I continue to believe that further efforts are necessary. Observing our completed tasks and reviewing the speed data across various circuits, it appears to be quite sluggish."

"The dimensions of the vehicles seem to be a step in the correct direction. Without casting any disparagement, it appears there are both advantages and disadvantages to the situation. It's becoming clear that adapting to the new engine rules introduces a level of complexity to the entire process."

"The entire aviation route we're embarking on, I would prefer to opt for simpler engines, perhaps a bit more uniform components within those engines or something along those lines, and ultimately revert to more fundamental regulations."

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso contended that the true measure of the new regulations will be their ability to enhance competitiveness.

"The best aspect for drivers, according to the Spaniard, would be the enhanced ability to overtake and engage more in battles, thanks to the smaller cars."

"For us, the priority is ensuring the competition remains tightly contested, allowing numerous teams and drivers the opportunity to emerge victorious."

"We're not fans of a single team dominating the races for two or three consecutive years, so we're eager to see if the 2026 regulations will change that."

McLaren's Oscar Piastri mirrored Alonso's sentiments, admitting that significant regulatory shifts usually result in a wider gap among competitors.

"Each instance of regulatory modifications has resulted in a significant expansion," remarked Piastri. "Considering the current rules, we're beginning to narrow the gap with Red Bull at this point.

"However, we occupy a position within society that puts us at the leading edge of technology and innovation, and it could be said that occasionally, this priority may come at the expense of the racing aspect."

"It wouldn't shock me if the teams drifted further apart in 2026 due to the aerodynamic regulations and the engine rules."

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