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F1 targets 50kg weight reduction as part of 2026 rules revamp

Formula 1's 2026 rules are on course to produce shorter, narrower and lighter cars, with the FIA targeting a 50kg reduction in weight.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, the rest of the field at the start

Motor racing's governing body is currently working on putting in place outline chassis regulations for the next rules era that will kick off in 2026.

As well as a planned shift towards active aero to help reduce drag on the straights, the FIA has offered some more details about what else could be changing.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com's Italian site, the FIA's head of single-seaters Nikolas Tombazis said that the main shift will be in the size of the car.

"With the dimensions of the wheels, which will be narrower, plus with the rear wing and the car in general, we aim to reduce the weight of the cars by around 50kg," he said.

"So, it will be possible to see smaller single-seater cars: shorter and narrower. But we are talking about solutions that still need to be discussed.

"With the car on a diet, we will be able to reduce the cornering speeds a bit. Being lighter, they will go faster in a straight line, but will generate less aerodynamic load. So, we will need to increase the hybrid's energy recovery to ensure adequate lap performance."

The changes planned for 2026 have not been without controversy, as Red Bull earlier this year warned of the potential for 'Frankenstein cars' that would be impossible to race each other.

There were even concerns about drivers needing to change down gear halfway down straights to try to boost their hybrid systems.

Robert Shwartzman, Ferrari SF-23, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, in the pit lane

Robert Shwartzman, Ferrari SF-23, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, in the pit lane

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Tombazis is clear, however, that the FIA has put a lot of effort into ensuring that what is coming for 2026 works from the racing perspective.

"A lot of work has been done to understand how energy recovery and management will have to be done, and how overtaking can be done based on the aerodynamic configuration," he said.

"We have carried out many simulations by changing these parameters and we have found solutions that seem to work adequately."

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Tombazis suggests that some of the original concerns voiced about the performance of the 2026 cars were not based on up-to-date simulation models.

"If one took the 2026 power units and mounted them on the current cars, probably the result would be the scenario put forward by those who were worried," he said.

"But in recent months, we have collected a series of very positive developments, so the comments express old positions. We also need to take into account that the engine and chassis will have to evolve together, and it will not be possible to think of one without the other."

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