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F1 Revolution: New ‘Manual Override Mode’ Set to Replace DRS in 2026, Enhancing Overtaking with Advanced Power-Boost System

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‘Manual Override Mode’: F1’s New Tool for Overtaking and Replacement for DRS Explained

All the details on F1’s upcoming overtaking assistance feature, ‘Manual Override Mode’, set to be implemented in 2026.

Formula 1 has revealed initial information regarding the upcoming 2026 regulation changes, which will include replacing DRS with a new tool to assist overtaking.

The Drag Reduction System, a staple in grand prix racing since 2011, will be discontinued after next season. It will be substituted with Formula 1's innovative 'Manual Override Mode'. But what exactly is this new feature and how does it function?

In an effort to enhance overtaking chances, a new power-boost system has been incorporated into the 2026 regulations.

The updated power units now offer nearly three times the battery capacity, enabling drivers to utilize additional electric energy when they are trailing within one second of the vehicle in front.

How will ‘MOM’ function?

This innovation will allow a driver to harness the full potential of their MGU-K, while the competitor in front is unable to do the same.

The energy use of F1's latest cars will start to diminish once they reach 290kph, eventually hitting zero when they get to 355kph.

A motorist operating in Manual Override Mode will still have access to 350kW, equivalent to 0.5MJ of additional energy, enabling them to reach speeds of up to 337kph while attempting to overtake an opponent.

Jan Monchaux, the technical director for single-seater cars at the FIA, clarified that MOM operates in a manner akin to DRS.

"If you are a certain distance behind the car in front of you before finishing a lap, you will be allowed to use extra electrical energy compared to your rival in the next lap," he explained.

The added electrical power acts as a substitute for the former rear wing opening, providing the car with an extra burst of speed to attempt an overtaking maneuver.

Monchaux explained that as cars approach the straightaway and one car is closely following another to facilitate overtaking, both vehicles will have their rear wings and front wing flaps open. In this scenario, the trailing car will be permitted to use additional electrical energy for a specific period during that lap.

"Currently, with the DRS system, if you're within one second of the car in front of you, you meet the criteria to activate your DRS on a straightaway. This will no longer be the case. However, the principle remains similar: when I'm near another car, I receive an additional amount of energy for that lap, which I can use in any manner I choose."

The additional energy is specified, which will provide a surge of power to potentially allow the trailing car to pass by the conclusion of the straightaway.

What are Z-Mode and X-Mode?

Besides the overtaking assistance, the 2026 version of the more compact, lighter F1 vehicles will incorporate enhanced and more advanced active aerodynamics.

Adjustable components on the front and rear wings will offer a "Z-Mode" for peak downforce and an "X-Mode" for minimal drag settings.

The driver will initiate this system, but it will only be used on specific sections of the track where it is considered safe to reduce downforce levels.

Jason Somerville, the FIA's head of aerodynamics, stated that their simulations with teams and drivers indicated the necessity of an active front wing to maintain balance when a rear wing adjusts to achieve the desired drag level.

Under specific circumstances, the drivers felt uneasy with a significant aerodynamic balance towards the front, which meant having a lot of downforce at the front and less at the rear. This situation prompted the necessity for both an active front wing and an active rear wing.

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