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Alonso: Making 2026 F1 cars 30kg lighter an "impossible target"

Fernando Alonso says he is sceptical over Formula 1's goal to make the 2026 cars 30kg lighter as the reliance on electric energy increases.

On Thursday the FIA formally presented an outline of the all-new regulations for 2026 which are built around power units with a much bigger emphasis on electric energy.

In order to maintain F1-level speeds, a lot of attention has gone into changing the chassis to compensate for the disadvantages of the complex engine formula, including the addition of active aerodynamics and smaller, slightly lighter cars.

In 2026 the wheelbase will drop from 3600mm to 3400mm, while the width will be reduced from 2000mm to 1900mm. Downforce has been reduced by 30% and drag by 55% to help compensate for lower top speeds and reduce the dirty air that makes it harder for cars to race wheel to wheel.

But amid lingering concerns over how the new crop of machinery will perform, Aston Martin driver Alonso is sceptical about F1's goal to reduce the car weight by 30kg.

"I think it is impossible probably to achieve 30 kilos already," the two-time F1 world champion said.

"If the power unit is 50% electric and you need the batteries to support that, cars will just increase 20 or 30 kilos because of the power unit.

"And then you want to reduce 30 [kg] - you need to drop 60 kilos of the current car, which is the same as at the moment, probably to the teams [it's] an impossible target.

"They have two years to achieve that target and as always in Formula 1, what is impossible in 2024 will become reality in 2026 because there are very clever people in the teams. But I think all is a consequence of something else that is in the cars."

F1 2026 FIA car renders

F1 2026 FIA car renders

Photo by: FIA

Williams driver Alex Albon said he was concerned by the "extremely slow" speeds the new cars are reported to achieve in the simulator, although he felt smaller cars are a step in the right direction.

"Let's see. I don't want to speak out of turn, but it's going to be very slow, extremely slow," he said when quizzed by Motorsport.com about the 2026 rules.

"I'm guessing there's a lot of stuff being done around making sure the straight-line speeds are not tapering off at the end with all of the MGU-K and whatnot being involved.

"I still think there needs to be some work done. Seeing the speed traces around some of the tracks... it's pretty slow."

"Lighter cars... I don't think that weight comes for free. It's more just a commitment from the teams to try to get down to that weight.

"The size of the cars, I think is the right direction. Obviously, it seems to be that to recover what these new engine regulations are creating, everything becomes extremely complicated. I'd rather just have a bit more simple engines."

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