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Max Verstappen

F1 drivers united over thorny new rules issue: 'It's not earth shattering'

Several drivers have reacted to Thursday's unveiling of the 2026 technical regulations and the graphics of what the next era of F1 cars will look like.

2026 Car Render 5
To news overview © FIA

Several F1 drivers have expressed concern that one area of the new regulations does not go far enough.

The FIA introduced the new rules for 2026 on Thursday ahead of this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, with the cars set to be more 'nimble', according to world motorsport's governing body, via a range of initiatives, including active aero alongside a new power unit.

There was naturally early scepticism relating to certain aspects, with the primary concern that just as the field is seemingly starting to concertina under the current regulations, it will likely spread again when the cars take to the track in two years.

The major thorny issue, however, concerned weight reduction. Drivers have moaned for years the cars have become too heavy, and have called for significant cuts. Under the new rules only 30 kilograms will be shaved, dropping to 768kg from 798kg.

That does not go far enough. "It's only 30 kilos," Lewis Hamilton told select media, including RacingNews365. "It's moving in the right direction now, but it's still heavy."

The seven-time world champion added: "I've spoken to some drivers who have already driven it [the new car] on the simulator, I haven't. But they said it's pretty slow. So we will see if it's the right direction or not.

"In terms of sustainability, particularly on the power unit side, I think that's a bold step and is going in the right direction.

"We just have to make sure the cars are efficient, fast, and an actual step forward and racing is improved."

Verstappen agrees

Max Verstappen agreed with his rival. The three-time champion with Red Bull does not believe losing 30 kilograms is acceptable for F1.

Verstappen also believes it will be incredibly difficult for the minimum weight in 2026 to be reached, adding a new problem. 

"That will be very difficult, especially if you consider that some teams are already not reaching the minimum weight," Verstappen told select media, including RacingNews365.

"I do know that the dimensions are also changing a bit, but when you're talking about a weight reduction of 30 kilos, you're really talking about the most favourable scenario."

The Red Bull driver has stressed that significantly more weight needs to be lost, something which is not possible with the heavier engines and batteries set to be introduced. 

"At least 100 to 150 kilos have to come off, but that's not possible with the heavy engines and batteries we're driving with," added Verstappen. 

"On top of that, various safety measures also weigh it down, of course, and that's good, but I think some things could still be different if you write the regulations properly. Even lighter cars at the moment is wishful thinking."

Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg summed up the general consensus perfectly, by saying: "Weight loss is good, but 30 kilos is not earth-shattering."

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