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FIA: Criticism over 2026 F1 engines was 'premature'

Concerns were raised earlier this year over the straight-line performance of Formula 1's 2026 cars amid the introduction of new regulations.

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The FIA's Single Seater Director Nikolas Tombazis has labelled comments from Formula 1 teams regarding the 2026 Power Units as “premature”.

In just over two years, F1 will enter a new cycle of technical regulations which will see new Power Units and aerodynamic rules come into play.

Electrical output in the Power Unit is set to increase dramatically while Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) will continue to form a major part of its construction.

Initial simulations from F1 teams saw them raise concerns over the straight-line performance as drivers were downshifting on straights due to the battery regeneration required.

But speaking to media including RacingNews365.com, Tombazis brushed away the concerns.

“These were comments that were probably a bit premature because we hadn't completed the work yet,” he said.

“We have worked on the energy side of the car. Clearly, we have a lower power ICE engine, for 2026, we will go from about 550-560 kilowatts to about 400.

“But we go from about 150 to 350 kilowatts on the electrical part. So the overall power of the car is going to be increased a bit.”

No 'diaster scenarios'

Tombazis added that the cars will be constructed to ensure that the drivers are being tested behind the wheel.

“Clearly if you put this new engine onto the current car, then it will run out of energy on the straight,” he said.

“It will start degrading the speed which is what led to certain comments a few months ago and various disaster scenarios.

“We never believed that was a disaster scenario because we knew that there were solutions. We have now completed all the simulations we need to do for that.

“So cars won't be reaching the top speed in the middle of the street and then degrading or anything like that, that's not going to be the case.

“Cars are still being designed to exercise the driver to the maximum.”

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