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F1 Team Principals weigh up 2026 dilemma facing all teams

Christian Horner, Frederic Vasseur and Andrea Stella have weighed in on a potential number dilemma facing teams in 2026.

Leading Formula 1 Team Principals believe teams need to work "collectively together" with the FIA ahead of a dilemma for the new 2026 regulations. In 2026, the power unit regulations will be changed with the likes of Audi and Ford, via a Red Bull tie-up, already signed up with the prospect of further entries to join Alpine Racing, Ferrari S.p.A, Honda Racing Corporation and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains Ltd. If HRC commit to a comeback, it could lead to a scenario where there are at least six PU suppliers on the grid fighting over the 10 teams - although in reality, it could be as low as five teams, with Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Alpine set to run their own engines, with AlphaTauri also taking on RBPT-Ford units. Despite this, bosses Christian Horner, Frederic Vasseur and Andrea Stella are keen to make the racing "product" as strong as possible owing to the fact "there is no money" in supplying customer squads - in Horner's view.

Bosses on 2026 power units

"We're under the budget cap, so that helps to contain and control costs and supply costs are dictated," Horner said when all three bosses were asked by RacingNews365.com about the business perspective of 2026. "From what we see now, there is no money in supplying customer teams; it is not a profitable business. "So to have that many manufacturers coming in the sport, is great for Formula 1 to have that variance. "It's a halcyon period for the sport and to have manufacturers wanting to be involved you testimony to the strength that the sport currently enjoys. "We've just got to make sure that for 2026, we get the product right because bringing these newcomers and so on it, we've got to ensure that the engine regulations and the chassis regulations marry up, that the product isn't compromised or doesn't detract from the kind of racing we've seen these cars starting to achieve. "That's a fundamental point that is bigger than the individual interests of the teams and the manufacturers that we need to work collectively to ensure the product for 2026 is going to deliver on the expectation that there is."

Newcomers won't be ready for multiple supplies

Following on from Horner, new Ferrari boss Vasseur said that he believed any potential newcomers would not be able to supply multiple teams like established suppliers like Ferrari or Mercedes - who, including themselves, supply three and four teams in 2023 respectively. "The newcomers, I'm not sure that they will be ready to supply more than one team because it's already a big challenge to do one team when you are joining Formula 1," he explained. "I'm not sure they will be ready to do that, it means we will have to find a compromise, but it will be ok." New McLaren boss Andrea Stella observed that the new rules were a "great opportunity" with work to do. "It will require even more of a coordinated action by Formula 1 and the FIA," he explained. "I think it is great for Formula 1 and there's still some work to do on the 2026 regulations, but overall, a great opportunity."

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