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Vowles Raises Alarm 2026 F1 Rule Changes Needed

F1’s 2026 Pace Barely Outruns F2, Teams Concerned

08/06/2024

Concern grows as F1’s 2026 regulations threaten to narrow the speed gap with F2, prompting urgent calls for revisions.

Formula 1 single-seaters will only be marginally faster than Formula 2 under the new rules proposed for 2026, some teams have warned.

On Thursday, the FIA presented its plans for the next major overhaul of F1’s technical regulations. According to its proposal, the 2026 cars will be smaller than the current models and will produce much less downforce.

F1 cars were 11 seconds faster than F2 in Monaco and 12 seconds faster at Imola.

However, Williams team principal James Vowles has warned that this gap could be reduced if the new rules were introduced in their current form.

“That’s indeed what we’ve found in simulation, yes,” he confirms.

“It’s imperative that we remain the leading series in motorsport. That’s how I see us. We are the pinnacle of this field. Therefore, we must ensure to maintain the performance and speed we have.”

“And at the moment there is a fundamental gap. The performance difference with an F2 could be as little as a few seconds. And that’s starting to get a bit tight, especially when compared to other series in the world like IndyCar or Super Formula.”

“But these are draft regulations. And this week, in fact, there have been two changes that have significantly reduced downforce, which puzzled us!”

“I am confident that we will arrive at a better solution in this regard. It’s not that we are so far off. There’s just a bit more work to do.”

For McLaren F1, Andrea Stella confirms.

“I would say that at the moment, given the current state of the cars in the preliminary version of the regulation – and it must be said ‘draft’, as there is a lot of work to be done – the cars are not fast enough in the corners and too fast on the straights. So, these two aspects need to be rebalanced.”

Vowles Raises Alarm: 2026 F1 Rule Changes Needed. Vowles Raises Alarm: 2026 F1 Rule Changes Needed

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