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2026 power unit regulations approved

NEWS STORY
17/08/2022

The World Motor Sport Council has approved the power unit regulations for Formula One for 2026, whilst also confirming changes to the 2022 and 2023 technical regulations.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has today approved the regulations for the 2026 Formula 1 Power Unit (PU) Regulations that will apply to the PUs to be developed and utilised from the 2026 season of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

These regulations are the result of extensive research and development by the FIA, as well as collaborative consultation between the FIA and both incumbent and potential new PU manufacturers. The package includes Technical, Sporting and Financial Regulations.

The 2026 PU Regulations underline the FIA's ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainability and come at a time of significant growth for Formula 1.

"The FIA continues to push forward on innovation and sustainability, across our entire motor sport portfolio," said FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, "the 2026 Formula 1 Power Unit Regulations are the most high-profile example of that mission.

"The introduction of advanced PU technology along with synthetic sustainable fuels aligns with our objective of delivering benefits for road car users and meeting our objective of net zero carbon by 2030. Formula 1 is currently enjoying immense growth and we are confident these Regulations will build on the excitement our 2022 changes have produced.

"I want to thank all of the FIA management and technical staff involved in this process for their diligence and commitment in working together with all of our Formula 1 stakeholders to deliver this. I also want to thank our WMSC members for their consideration and approval of these regulations."

The four key pillars of the 2026 framework are:

Maintaining the spectacle - the 2026 Power Unit will have similar performance to the current designs, utilising high-power, high-revving V6 internal combustion engines and avoiding excessive performance differentiation to allow for improved raceability.

Environmental sustainability - the 2026 Power Unit will include an increase in the deployment of electrical power to up to 50% and utilise a 100% sustainable fuel.

Financial Sustainability - Financial Regulations regarding the Power Units will reduce the overall costs for competitors whilst retaining the cutting-edge technological showcase that is at the core of Formula 1.

Attractive to new Power Unit Manufacturers - the regulations are intended to make it possible and attractive for newcomers to join the sport at a competitive level.

The World Motor Sport Council also approved several changes to the 2022 and 2023 F1 Technical Regulations to address two key safety concerns, the phenomenon of vertical oscillations ("aerodynamic porpoising"), and the safety standards for the roll hoops.

"Safety is absolutely the highest priority for the FIA," said BEn Sulayem, "and we have devoted significant time and resources to the analysis and resolution of the issue of porpoising. I have personally discussed this matter with all of the teams and drivers, and while of course there are some differences in opinion owing to varying competitive positions, it is very clear that the FIA has a duty to act and ensure that the drivers are not put at undue risk of injury as a result of this phenomenon.

"It was evident that an update to the requirements for the roll hoops was needed after the crash of Zhou Guanyu at Silverstone, and while this incident showed us all how remarkable the safety systems in Formula 1 are, it also proved once again that we must continue to innovate and pursue safety matters without compromise."

The following is a summary of these two issues and the associated regulatory updates to address them:

The phenomenon of vertical oscillations ("aerodynamic porpoising"), combined with low ride heights and minimal rake have been a noted characteristic of the new generation of Formula 1 cars, introduced in 2022, and has been discussed several times in the Technical Advisory Committee meetings. The appearance of this phenomenon raised concerns about safety and the health and wellbeing of the drivers.

While the effect of this phenomenon has been less pronounced on some recent circuits, the FIA believes that its occurrence, and the associated safety issues, will remain and potentially become even worse in the future.

The FIA has consulted extensively with the teams and has come to a final position as follows:

From the Belgian Grand Prix, the FIA will be measuring the phenomenon and expecting teams to operate below a certain threshold in order for their car to be considered safe. In addition, the following measures are approved for 2022 and 2023:

2022 Formula 1 Technical Regulations

Central Floor Flexibility - changes to re-define the stiffness requirements of plank and skids around the thickness measurement holes.

2023 Formula 1 Technical Regulations

The floor edges will be raised by 15mm.

The Diffuser throat height will be raised, while care has been taken to avoid any impact on the teams' designs of the mechanical components.

The diffuser edge stiffness will be increased.

An additional sensor will be mandated to monitor the phenomenon more effectively.

After the serious accident at the start of the British Grand Prix, a detailed analysis has been conducted on a number of issues, from the start of the accident to the final rescue operation and vehicle recovery, as is normal for any serious accident.

One item that was highlighted was the performance of the roll hoop, which came off the chassis during the accident. The key findings were:

That the pointed top of the roll hoop dug into the tarmac, which contributed to the high horizontal force which led to it breaking off.

That the wording, as currently in the regulations, allows teams to homologate their roll hoops with forces acting through a lower point than intended. This can lead to the roll hoop resisting forces that are lower than originally intended by the regulations.

That a significant increase in roll hoop strength should be implemented in Formula 1.

These matters were extensively discussed in three Technical Advisory Committee meetings specifically called to analyse the issue.

Following a review of the above information, the World Council approved these changes to the 2023 Formula 1 Technical Regulations:

A change to require a rounded top of the roll hoop, which will reduce the chance of it digging into the ground during an accident.

A change to ensure a minimum height for the point of application of the homologation test.

Creation of a new physical homologation test where the load pushes the roll hoop in the forward direction.

Definition of new tests to be carried out by calculation.

As a medium-term objective, for 2024, the intention is to proceed to a significant overhaul of the roll hoop tests to ensure that cars in the future resist significantly more severe loads.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ancient70!, 18/08/2022 8:14

"Love this sustainability bit. Everybody seems to be chasing solutions for the symptoms, none address the disease. Its not what we are doing, but how many are doing it, that is the issue?"

Rating: Negative (-2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 18/08/2022 0:22

"@Elsiebc....Porsche has a large investment together with Siemens and Chilean Gov't/Private sector to produce 'sustainable fuels using as feedstock CO2 [derived from atmo.capture] and hydrogen from electrolysis using wind generated power. Mixing both gases creates methanol which is classified as a sustainable fuel. Looking forward to '26 and Porsche/Red Bull possible JV then the knowledge base would be a considerable advantage for any team. Fascinating concept which has attracted super sized investment. The same company operating in Chile has filed a proposal to build another plant in Tasmania, an island state off the South coast of Oz.Hope this is of interest to you."

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by elsiebc, 17/08/2022 17:17

"All good comments (well, maybe not "all" so let's say "mostly"). I have doled out up and down ratings as I see fit instead of making any replies. But my number one question is...

What are these "sustainable" fuels going to be made from? What makes it "sustainable"?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by MossMan, 17/08/2022 14:23

"I look forward to you all admitting in ten years or so that the obvious evolution currently happening actually happened... just like the guys who ranted against even the possibility of electric cars for consumers were doing on another of my forums back around 2015.

Oh no, wait - they all completely disappeared or denied ever saying it."

Rating: Negative (-4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by rtw1951, 17/08/2022 13:42

"Weren't they building sustainable fuel back in the turbo times. Seems I remember pit crew wearing more hazmat than fire suits. Screw'em all, Ford-Cosworth DFV-8 is the way to go. Weight and size limits should also be reduced. It would be interesting to see if present safety concerns and construction methods could fit that platform. Also, bring back 20 cars show up, 16 qualify, everybody else goes home. Change the numbers, but more That was the way to see who was really interested in racing. The rant continues- Shoot all pay drivers."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Hobgoblin, 17/08/2022 12:30

"The note about 100% sustainable fuel is interesting. Would this be defined and homologated by the FIA, or given to the fuel companies to develop their own?
Surely a competitively developed fuel - with the only proviso that it is 100% sustainable - would lead to a development race and step change in fuel technology that would benefit us all?

@itc - I suspect that the wording will be more prescriptive than the press release. I would expect the words 'pushes the roll hoop in the forward direction' will more likely be 'pushes the roll hoop in any lateral direction'. At least I would hope so...
"

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7. Posted by didaho, 17/08/2022 10:49

"It is indeed virtue signalling and won't pass the sniff test next time around.
In the same timeframe sponsorship by Oil companies will have gone the same way as tobacco sponsorship by the same forces and mechanisms.
Even the thickest denialist will have experienced a long string of worse summers (and winters) than this and the groupthink cognitive dissonance that allows such stupidity will have less sway."

Rating: Negative (-5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by itc, 17/08/2022 8:42

"If a car is upside down and going backwards the roll hoop will be pushed forwards.
If car is upside down and going forwards the roll hoop will be pushed backwards.
Both equally serious for the unfortunate driver yet only in the first case is the roll hoop's strength apparently going to be improved by the FIA.
Zho went forwards upside down.
Hmm."

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9. Posted by kenji, 17/08/2022 1:16

"This is what happens when the 'wokies' are let loose. Pure 'net zero' is a fraud.
"

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 16/08/2022 20:13

"I watched some FE with the sound off in the weekend... didn't really notice much difference.

Anyway, this whole drive to Net Zero by 2030 is only going to be made possible by planting a bazillion trees, purchasing the CO2 credits and restricting the scope of what is defined as F1.

I keep waiting for the penny to drop that the cost of all this CO2 mitigation perception isn't worth it for the few ecomentalists that watch the "sport".

The cost of the "green" power generation for example is now really starting to hit home, here and most starkly in the UK (with huge consumer energy prices and winter is coming) and Sri Lanka.

Sooner or later the "experts" that have pressured the politicians to put in policies "for the greater good" are going to have to explain themselves.

F1 is in the same boat by following blissfully along and to heck with the consequences of spending huge sums of money for little difference."

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

11. Posted by Roli, 16/08/2022 19:54

"What a load of codswallop. Definitely bring back thev10's at least they sounded like racing engines instead of rabbits farting."

Rating: Positive (7)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by Pawsche, 16/08/2022 19:39

"I know that I'm old and cynical, but surely I can't be the only one who's thoroughly nauseated by all the "sustainability" eco-theatre and "net zero carbon" (It's "carbon dioxide", not "carbon" FFS!) bolleaux.

"Net zero", if for the F1 cars themselves is just virtue signalling... The emissions of 20 cars doing a few hundred miles twenty times a year is orders of magnitude less than even a rounding error in worldwide vehicle emissions... And if they mean truly "net zero", then are all the spectators' vehicles, TV teams, trucks, support vehicles, jumbo-jet freighters and "Very Large Container Ships" going to be running on synthetic fuel as well? Good luck with that one!!

Just get on with providing good racing!!
"

Rating: Positive (13)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

13. Posted by Tardis40, 16/08/2022 18:52

"Go back to the 3 litre V10's"

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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