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F1 to introduce "compact car" in 2026

F1 to introduce "compact car" in 2026

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F1 to introduce "compact car" in 2026

F1 to introduce "compact car" in 2026

Ross Brawn has confirmed F1 will roll out a more compact car in 2026 to counter the ongoing trend that has resulted in longer, heavier machines in recent years.

In 2004, new regulations came into force that set the minimum weight at 600kg. That rose to 642kg in 2013 and 728kg in 2017. Next year, with the introduction of Pirelli's 18-inch wheels, the limit will be 792kg.

In terms of dimensions, four years ago F1 increased the width of a car from 1.8m to two metres, reversing a rule that was introduced in 1998, while cars have also grown in length over time and now measure around 5.5m.

F1's managing director motorsports Brawn agrees the cars now "are big" but that steps are being taken to ensure the size is managed come 2026 when a new power unit is introduced.

“As you know we’re looking at a new power unit for '26, and a new car will go with it and that’s some of the primary objectives," confirmed Brawn.

"Can we save weight, which is challenging with a hybrid car and with the safety initiatives we’ve got on the cars these days, but can we have a lighter car? Certainly, can we have a smaller car? We believe we can.

“We think with the spec that’s evolving for ’26 there’ll be a very real chance of having a more compact car.”

Reinforcing Brawn's remarks, chief technical officer Pat Symonds said: "Not only the engines but also the cars have to become more sustainable.

"The only way to do this is to use the formula - smaller, lighter and more efficient."

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