FIA provide first look at 2026 F1 cars

Feature image credit: FIA

The first images of the new spec of Formula 1 cars were unveiled by the FIA, alongside an overview of some of the 2026 regulations.

The cars will reduce slightly in size and weight. They will be 30kg lighter, with the wheelbase being shortened by 200mm, and the car will be narrower by 100mm. This is designed with the idea of making the cars more nimble in order to achieve better racing.

More design elements that focused on better racing include a front wing 100mm narrower than on the current cars, as well as wake boards that create in-wash, in order to avoid dirty air being produced and making cars difficult to follow. The tyres will also be slightly narrower, with the width being reduced by 25mm at the front and 30mm at the rear, but there should be minimal loss in grip levels.

The cars will now all be equiped with ‘active aerodynamics’, which will see the cars be able to adjust both their front and rear wings throughout a lap. The system will have two modes: Mode Z for greater cornering speeds, and Mode X for greater top end speed and lower drag for the straights. It is hoped that this will aid overtaking now with the removal of the DRS system.

Cars will now produce less drag, with the current estimate being 55%, as this will help cars be more efficient. It is also estimated that the new cars will produce 30% less downforce.

Cars will now also be mandated to have a section of their floor be completely flat in order to reduce the levels of ground effect produced and the reliance on stiffer suspension and low floor setups.

The power unit is also getting a significant overhaul for the first time since 2014. Initially published in August 2022, the new engine regulations will see the six engine manufacturers develop MGU-K’s that would produce 300% more power than in their current form to supplement the removal of the MGU-H. This should amount to a 50/50 split between combustion and electrical power.

Drivers will also have an manual override mode to provide them with more electrical power as an additional overtaking aid. Whilst the cars will usually have the battery deployment begin to taper of at 290kph, following cars will be allowed to use the manual override to provide them with the full level of deployment up to 337kph. It is not yet specified how close following cars will need to be in order to be granted use of the manual override.

All engines will also be ran on 100% sustainable fuel to coincide with the sport’s push towards being net zero by the year 2030.

The FIA have only released an overview of the regulations at this point in time, but the full details regarding the new rules for 2026 shall be ratified on 28th June.