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Formula 1 Canadian GP

FIA warned the "ship has sailed" for F1 2026 engine tweaks

Formula 1's engine manufacturers have warned "the ship has sailed" on making changes to the power unit regulations for 2026 to improve performance.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24, the rest of the field at the start
Amid the backdrop of the FIA admitting that its draft 2026 technical rules are going to need refining to make cars faster, one possibility that has emerged to help things is tweaking the engines.
As part of a push to secure the headline 50-50 split of power input from the ICE and electrical energy, fuel flow limitations have been imposed.
So, one easy way to deliver more power and reduce the reliance on battery energy would be to increase these limits.
Speaking at the Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA's single-seater director Nikolas Tombazis suggested that the manufacturers could be open to modifications.
"If there are some tweaks needed, I'm quite confident the PU manufacturers would help and be collaborative," he said.
Under the terms of the F1's 2026 power unit regulations, however, any change requires unanimous support from the manufacturers who have committed to enter.
And even before any suggestions of potential changes have been seriously considered, some car makers have made clear there is no room for manoeuvre because work is so far advanced on the 2026 engines.

Watch: The Future of Formula One - First Look at The 2026 F1 Regulations

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: "On the power unit side, the ship has sailed.
"There are teams that feel they are on the back foot, and there are other teams that will feel, and OEMs, that they have done a good job. That's the normal kind of wrestling on regulations.
"I think on the chassis side there are tweaks that are possible that we need to do. But, on the engine side, the process is far too advanced." 
Alpine team principal Bruno Famin admitted it would be difficult to make changes now, with manufacturers having already worked for several years on the new power units.
"We need to be careful because on the chassis side, almost nothing is done - because there is no regulation," he said. "But on the PU, we have two years of work."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, whose squad will be powered by its own engine from 2026, felt there was still time to make meaningful changes – but was aware of Mercedes' resistance.
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, in the team principals Press Conference

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, in the team principals Press Conference

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

"There is always one that doesn't want to change," he said. "But that is down to the FIA. As I say, it is never too late.
"They have all the knowledge and simulations. You have got to look at what is best for F1 at the end of the day and what will produce the best racing. So, trust in them and FOM to make the right calls. Whether that is required or not, they have got all the knowledge to know."
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