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Alonso Questions F1 2026 Regulations’ Realism

F1 2026: Alonso’s Doubts Over New Tech Rules

06/06/2024

Fernando Alonso raises concerns about the ambitious 2026 F1 regulations, questioning the feasibility of significant weight reductions and futuristic engine designs.

Fernando Alonso hopes that the 2026 Technical Regulations for Formula 1, presented this Thursday, will enhance on-track spectacle. The Aston Martin F1 driver, signed until 2026, aims to leverage these regulations for a shot at success.

“From a driver’s perspective, what we want is just close competition, more race winners, and opportunities for everyone,” declared the two-time Formula 1 World Champion.

“We don’t want a reign of three or four years where only one team, or one or two drivers, can win. Hopefully, 2026 can contribute to this because that’s the only thing missing from F1. The rest is fantastic.”

Active aerodynamics will be a major innovation on these cars, and Alonso is curious about public opinion. From the drivers’ viewpoint, he anticipates a bit more work but has no issue with that. However, he raises concerns about the complexity.

“It seems complicated. Ultimately, it’s the fans who will have to give their opinion. For us, it’s just extra work managing the steering wheel or the different buttons to press.”

“Certainly, the technology and complexity of the cars are currently very high. It doesn’t seem they will decrease in 2026. The engines, of course, are also very ambitious in terms of targets.”

“And perhaps some of these aerodynamic devices and things you need to change on the straights are just to compensate for the possibly too ambitious goals regarding the engine.”

The Return of KERS to Formula 1?

Speaking of ambitious targets, Alonso believes that the weight reduction hoped for by the FIA and FOM, which aims to bring the cars down from 798 to 768 kilos, is unfeasible.

“I think it’s probably already impossible to achieve the 30-kilo reduction. And if you want to reduce by 30, you need to shed 60 kilos from the current car, which for now seems an impossible goal for the teams.”

“They have two years to achieve it, and as always in F1, what is impossible in 2024 may become reality in 2026, as there are very intelligent people in the teams. But I think all of this is due to something else in the car.”

As for the Manual Override mode, which will replace DRS in the form of a push-to-pass activatable at any time, Alonso is positive. It reminds him of KERS and the early years of hybridisation in Formula 1.

“It was the same before, when we had KERS activated for six seconds and had to choose where in the corners and the lap to use those six seconds. Sometimes, we used it in different places from the car ahead and vice versa.”

“And that created some overtaking opportunities. So I tend to agree with giving some freedom to drivers to use power here or there and create alternative strategies, which we now all implement at the same places, at the same time, which is a bit more routine.”

Giving ‘More Freedom’ to F1 Teams?

Alonso laments that the rules do not provide more technical freedom for teams to innovate. However, he seems not to realise that this would create vast disparities between teams and be entirely incompatible with the budget cap designed to close the gaps.

“I think it should be easier. Perhaps we need a purer competition more linked to drivers, the team, and specific settings for each track, reminiscent of the past with greater freedom in car design.”

“Some F1 cars had six wheels, just to give an example. And on some tracks, you could have advantages, and on others, you knew you would struggle. It was the same when we had Michelin and Bridgestone tyres in 2005.”

“During a tough season for Bridgestone, if Michelin was better, it could rain here in Montreal, and the intermediate tyres were perfect for Bridgestone. And then, all the cars on Bridgestone could win the race or get on the podium.”

“I like that kind of freedom that gives you the possibility to choose something. And it’s not just dictated by regulations. But that’s a personal view, and everyone will have theirs, and I’m happy, I’ll adapt. The most important thing is to have the fastest car. And that’s what we need to work on.”

Alonso Questions F1 2026 Regulations’ Realism. Alonso Questions F1 2026 Regulations’ Realism

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