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Designers warn reducing F1 car weight will be 'challenge' with new engine regulations

Talks about reducing the weight of the current generation of Formula 1 cars are under review, but top team designers warn that it will be a tough challenge.

The 2026 Formula 1 engine regulations will "make the challenge even bigger" to reduce car weight say leading team designers, following renewed talks between F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem over the mass of the cars for 2026. The current generation of F1 cars is the heaviest there has been in championship's history at 798kg, but discussions are ongoing over bringing the minimum weight down in a bid to improve racing. Much of the weight stems from the move to hybrid systems in 2014, with cars getting progressively heavier over time. The introduction of the Halo cockpit protection device made from titanium in 2018 also added an extra 7kg to the overall weight, along with the addition of wheel covers which added 500 grams in 2022. Mercedes Technical Director, James Allison, believes it should be a problem solved by teams through making "difficult decisions" over what to include on their car to make them lighter. Fellow Technical Director at Aston Martin, Dan Fallows, said there must not be a compromise on safety to reach these targets and believes "There are things that we can probably do in the rules to help. Certainly, putting the weight limit down is one way of achieving it. But we have to make sure that we don't look to compromise safety in any way by doing that," he told media, including RacingNews365.com. "There are things architecturally we could do that would help. But it certainly is going to be a challenge. And I think there's no doubt that with the power unit regulations being set the way they are, that makes the challenge even bigger."

Red Bull: Very difficult to make cars lighter

Red Bull Chief Technical Officer, Pierre Wache, has previously spoken to RacingNews365.com exclusively about the challenge of bringing down the weight of the current generation of F1 cars . He believes the current generation of cars will not change drastically due to the safety devices on the cars, which have improved incrementally over the years. "I'm not sure that we will have a significant change in terms of weight," said Wache. "The most important aspect [is] the safety [which] improved a lot for the drivers and we would not like to compromise that. Plus, I think the power unit that is defined now [for ‘26] is already massively heavier than what we currently have. "I think to make it significantly lighter, as mentioned by Stefano, it will be very, very difficult."

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