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F1 chiefs say 2026 guidelines fears prompted by {old} information

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Issues have emerged in latest weeks in regards to the risks of a wrong step with the new cars in 2026 ruining the spectacle. 

World champion Max Verstappen mentioned {that a} simulation run he had with the 2026 automotive, the place he was compelled to alter down gears on the straight to recharge the battery, left him removed from comfortable. 

To me, it seems fairly horrible,” mentioned Verstappen. “When you go flat out on the straight at Monza, and I do not know what it’s, like 4 or 5 hundred [metres] earlier than the tip of the straight, it’s important to downshift flat out as a result of that is quicker. I believe that is not the best way ahead.” 

However whereas Verstappen’s Crimson Bull staff is pushing for adjustments to be made to assist enhance issues, F1’s personal senior technical figures are way more sanguine in regards to the state of affairs. 

In truth, F1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds thinks staff alarm bells in regards to the 2026 state of affairs are far too untimely – as he suggests their fears have been triggered by out-of-date information and laws which might be within the means of being refined.

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Newest mannequin

Symonds and his staff at F1 and the FIA, profiting from the huge laptop energy accessible to it by a partnership with AWS, have been accelerating laptop simulations on the 2026 mission over latest months. 

And it has emerged that the most recent automotive mannequin F1 has is a large step from what groups have been basing their findings on up to now, and is performing in a totally totally different manner. 

Horner has criticised the 2026 guidelines

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Chatting with Autosport about alarm bells being sounded over the 2026 guidelines, Symonds mentioned: “Groups spend a big a part of their price range on shopping for alarm bells.   

“We had precisely the identical with 2022, that it will not work, and we [the teams] have been by all of it earlier than and we all know what we’re doing.  

“The 2026 automotive in my thoughts isn’t any greater a change than the 2022 one. I might argue that it’s truly a bit much less aerodynamic [a jump]. Sure, it bought extra energetic elements in there however there’s nothing magic about energetic aerodynamics. I am fairly assured.” 

Symonds defined that FIA’s head of aerodynamics Jason Somerville, who has been heading up work on the 2026 automotive, was in a very good place proper now with how issues have been shaping up. 

“There are some spectacular drag targets however Jason and his guys are there with it,” added Symonds. “So yeah, I believe we are able to do it.  

“And the staff’s alarm bells, and speaking about Max who has pushed it within the simulator: he hasn’t pushed what’s there. I do know that, as a result of we’re clearly months forward of the place they’re.” 

Symonds added that, whereas groups are conscious of the challenges of the 50/50 cut up between combustion energy and electrical power, there was at all times the acceptance that the laws would evolve as soon as they’d been printed.

Symonds has described the 2026 changes as 'less of an aerodynamic jump' to the 2022 alterations

Symonds has described the 2026 adjustments as ‘much less of an aerodynamic leap’ to the 2022 alterations

Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

“We wanted to get a set of laws out for the engine, and put some power administration numbers in there,” he mentioned. 

“They have been very immature. We knew that they would not work and we knew that they wanted to be developed. And the place we have got to within the 9 months since is transformational.  

“The efficiency profile of a 2026 automotive in simulation now does not look terribly totally different to 2023.  

“So all of this factor about hitting the highest velocity in the course of the straight, it isn’t like that anymore.  

“You may have to keep in mind that these vehicles do not attain high velocity on the finish of the straight anymore; so all this factor about altering down gears on the straight merely is not true.” 

Eliminating DRS prepare 

In addition to honing the power administration and moveable aero traits of the 2026 vehicles, Symonds mentioned that one space F1 was specializing in was higher racing. 

And whereas a decrease slipstream impact might influence the potential of vehicles passing one another on the straights, Symonds says one key goal being checked out was dropping the present blight of races getting locked down by DRS trains. 

DRS trains remain common in F1

DRS trains stay frequent in F1

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“One of many targets, and what we’re making an attempt to do in 2026, is to do away with the DRS prepare,” he mentioned. 

“For the time being, we’re speaking a couple of automotive that has 4 aerodynamic states. I do not suppose we’ll find yourself with 4 aerodynamic states, we are going to find yourself with two or presumably three.  

“However whereas a few of that might be by technical laws, a few of that might be by sporting laws as nicely.  

“The factor with the 2026 vehicles is that you do not have these large quantities of power accessible that you’ve got for the time being.  

“After we conceived the automotive, the concept was to have entrance axle restoration. The producers ditched that, in order that made our life actually troublesome. But it surely does not make it unattainable.  

“So I believe now we have now to have a look at the sporting laws and suppose very fastidiously about the way you get better power and the way you deploy power. So it will not simply be a technical train, will probably be a sporting train as nicely.” 

Pc energy increase 

Symonds says that the massive computing energy that F1 has accessible to make use of in CFD simulation, by its relationship with AWS, has left it with a excessive diploma of confidence that every part is on observe for 2026. 

Pat Symonds

Pat Symonds

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“The issues with CFD up to now have probably not been in regards to the software program, it is the quantity of computing energy you’ll be able to throw at it,” he added. 

“It actually turned fairly transformational as we teamed up with AWS, and we have now needed to be taught collectively.  

“It wasn’t a case of: here is a little bit of software program, you load it and run it. We needed to do an terrible lot of labor to get it working correctly. But it surely did give us this skill to run these extremely complicated fashions.  

“There may be, what we name, our gold customary, of two full vehicles working one behind the opposite in a cornering state of affairs with a totally unsteady circulation. And that workouts the computer systems a bit of bit.  

“So as soon as we have been capable of do issues like that, we had some confidence. Now we’re nonetheless doing wind tunnel testing, however that has come again and given us much more confidence I might say.”

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