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FIA reveals RADICAL new look for F1 cars

FIA reveals RADICAL new look for F1 cars

FIA reveals RADICAL new look for F1 cars

FIA reveals RADICAL new look for F1 cars

The FIA plans to have smaller, slower and lighter cars when the 2026 Formula 1 regulations arrive in just over two years' time.

With the first draft of the 2026 regulations set to be released by June next year, the governing body is working hard to implement a set of changes that will entice closer racing in the future.

Although were designed to improve the quality of racing, it is believed that there is still plenty of work ahead to maximise the regulations’ potential.

The FIA’s head of single-seaters, Nikolas Tombazis, has revealed that the body want to focus on a ‘nimble car concept’ as part of a push to move away from the heavy cars of recent times.

F1 cars have been bigger and bulkier for nearly seven years now
Nikolas Tombazis hopes the 'nimble car' concept will improve the quality of racing from 2026

Tombazis: The cars have become too bulky

“We aim to have a significantly lower weight limit, and we are looking to reduce the weight limit by 40 to 50 kilos in 2026,” Tombazis told Autosport.

“The way we want to do that is related to what we've termed the 'nimble car' concept, because we basically feel that in recent years the cars have become a bit too bulky and too heavy.

“We are tentatively aiming for wheels that are 16-inch wheel rims, with smaller wheel diameter and smaller width both front and rear. All of these things we believe are pushing towards a significantly lower weight.”

The brand new 18-inch wheels have been in the sport for just two years, and the teams have still achieved world record pitstop times despite the further weight they brought compared to the old 13-inch rims.

18-inch rims have been a part of the sport for two years now, after a long period trialing them
There is a marked difference in the amount of rubber on show between the older 13-inch wheels and the 18-inch wheels

2023 saw racing quality degrade

Taking weight and reducing the size of the cars will make them slower as downforce is stripped away from them – but the FIA are acting after noticing signs of worse racing in 2023.

“The 2023 season had a small worsening of the close racing features. The cars had degraded a bit in their ability to follow each other closely, and we think we understand why, how and what we need to do.

“We believe that for the next round [of rules in 2026] we'll achieve a much more robust close racing solution.”

The new regulations mark the next big opportunity for the Formula 1 grid to be shaken up, but teams will only be able to start work on the cars from early 2025.

The delay in research and development should help prevent the bigger teams from building up a big gap to the rest of the grid by the start of the 2026 season.

READ MORE: Verstappen delivers DAMNING verdict on taking race engineer to new team

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