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F1 2022

F1 plans changes for 2026 cars amid driver concerns

From 2026, Formula 1 cars are likely to look very different again. Nikolas Tombazis – the FIA's Single Seater Technical Director – has explained that the cars are set to be lighter and shorter.

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F1 cars look set to be lighter and shorter from 2026, according to Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA's Single Seater Technical Director.

Over the course of recent years, the weight of Formula 1 cars has increased, with factors including electrical systems, heavier engines and improved safety all contributing to the changes.

Despite this continued progression of technology in the sport, Tombazis believes that the plan to reduce weight in 2026 is feasible.

"It is realistic to make them a bit lighter," Tombazis told The Race.

"Not a massive amount; we have to consider that the difference in weight since 2000, say 20 years ago or so, is about 200kg, which is a massive number."

Tombazis explains car weight reduction plans

While Tombazis acknowledges that there are areas where it would be challenging to introduce weight reductions – such as the power unit and safety developments – he believes that there are other parts that offer an "opportunity" to make changes.

"There's about 15-20kg because of more complex systems on the cars and there's about 30-35kg on car dimensions," he explained.

"So cars being much longer and wider, bigger tyres and so on.

"And we believe in the car dimensions there lies an opportunity. We would want 2026 cars to be quite a lot shorter and probably maybe a bit narrower as well and all of that is going to contain the weight increase."

Many drivers have voiced their concerns over the weight of the cars in recent times. The minimum weight for cars in the 2022 season was 798kg, which will drop to 796kg for 2023.

This marks a vast difference to the past; 20 years ago, cars could weigh 600kg or less.

Weight of F1 engines set to increase

While the cars look set to be lighter and shorter, the weight of the engine is likely to increase.

"There is a battery increase because we are going more electrical which is adding a bit of weight," Tombazis continued.

"So the net effect I hope is going to be a bit lighter, but not a massive amount."

Some F1 teams have already struggled to meet the minimum weight requirements in recent times, with Red Bull's RB18 having struggled with being overweight during the 2022 season.

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