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F1 eyes lightweight halo from 2026

The FIA has opened a tender for a new lightweight halo from 2026 in a bid to help plans to reduce Formula 1 car weight.

Mercedes F1 W15 halo detail

As F1 moves towards its all-new rules era with revamped turbo hybrid engines, motor racing’s governing body has laid out ambitious plans for a change of car concept too.

Beyond a shift towards active aero, the FIA wants to reverse the trend of cars having got heavier over recent years – with it accepted that the current 798kg minimum limit is too much.

Now, as part of the FIA's widespread efforts to save mass in various areas, it wants to reduce the weight of the standard halo by up to one kilogramme – from the current seven kilogrammes.

A tender has been opened for a new titanium alloy halo, with a mass that is greater than six kilogrammes.

The supplier will be asked to produce and deliver the new halo, which must pass strict strength tests, and be provided to teams from 2026 to 2030.

Last year, the FIA’s head of single seaters Nikolas Tombazis said that initial ambitions to reduce car weight in F1 were pretty high.

"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," said Tombazis.

"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."

Delivering on that target was going to be achieved through multiple changes – although a return to 16-inch wheels has since been abandoned.

Smaller cars should go some way to reducing bulk, though, with the wheelbase of the 2026 cars likely trimmed down to 3400mm from the current maximum 3600mm. The cars will also be narrower by 10cm, so will be reduced from 2000mm to 1900mm.

Plans to reduce downforce should also help out in reducing weight, as with less stress going through car components there would not be as much need to make them so strong.

Tombazis added: "This lower downforce means that a lot of the loading on components, such as suspension, will reduce and that will enable the teams to reduce the weight consequentially.”

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