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F1 2026

FIA eases safety concerns around new 2026 F1 rules

Active aero will feature heavily on the 2026 F1 cars, with some concerns around the system's 'X-mode.'

Verstappen FP2 Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

The FIA has detailed how it plans to ensure F1's new active aero 'X-mode' will be safe for drivers. 

As part of the recently unveiled regulations, the 'X' and 'Z mode' aerodynamic configurations were revealed with 'X mode' being the low-drag option where the front and rear wings will open to dump drag.

'Z mode' will be the standard setting, such as when a car is going through a corner, with 'X mode' driver-activated. Questions have been raised about what would happen if a driver finds himself stuck in 'X mode' if the system failed approaching a corner.

FIA single-seater technical director Jan Monchaux has soothed those concerns, using the testing of the DRS in 2011 as an example.

"The approach on failure analysis and the system will be subject to the same approach done back in the day with the DRS," Monchaux told media including, RacingNews365.

"We'll have the same extremely rigorous approach, making sure that the system, once deployed for the first time during testing, will be doing what it's supposed to do and not subject to constant reliability issues or safety issues.

"That a few teams might have a few hiccups in the first winter test is to be expected, but I genuinely think the experience gained over the years on the DRS should be perfectly transferable.

"The system will not be a huge challenge for the teams in terms of 'can we get it to work?' and 'can we get it to work safely and reliably?' because it's going to be [used] almost on every straight." 

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