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Christian Horner

Horner: 'Freedom' is 'most important' for F1 in 2026

Christian Horner has explained what he feels is the "most important" element of the new F1 regulations, set to be introduced at the start of 2026.

Horner
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Christian Horner believes there will have to be "compromises" between teams over the 2026 F1 regulations, but that the "most important thing" is ensuring there is "differential" between different approaches to the rules.

The 50-year-old has voiced his support of the FIA and F1, stating that "trust" in them is needed as the end of 28 June ratification date at the World Motor Sport Council rapidly approaches.

With teams jostling to have their own agendas heard, there remains the fear that individual interests will trump the good of the championship, with prioritising improved racing shuffled to the periphery.

However, Horner contends that compromises will be necessary in order to ensure "enough freedom" is provided within the new rules. 

"It's tricky, isn't it? As Colin Chapman used to say, show me the rules, and I'll decide if I enter or not," the Red Bull team principal joked to media including RacingNews365 when asked if individual selfishness could derail teams working together on the 2026 regulations.

"And I think it's the same for everybody, there's going to be compromises. I think the most important thing is that there's enough freedom for there to be differential between the cars so they don't all look identical."

Horner hopes engine-chassis balance remains

For Horner, preventing F1 from slipping towards being a spec-series is key, maintaining that there is more than enough creativity to ensure that does not happen.

The team boss of the Milton Keynes squad underlined how aware the FIA is of safeguarding the balance between power unit and chassis, highlighting the need for "sensible" suggestions on how to further refine the new rules.

Prior to Red Bull's recent run of success with Honda, it struggled to get a competitive engine from Renault, leaving the team to rely on the work of Adrian Newey, who consistently produced cars capable of fighting for wins, even if the power units rules out championship aspirations.

"We have a budget cap, and the engineering creativity is there so that it doesn't just become a battery-fuel formula, it becomes chassis-engine combination," Horner explained. "And if you don't have the best engine, maybe you can compensate a bit on the chassis and, and vice versa.

"So I think it's finding that balance, which I think Nikolas [Tombazis, FIA single-seater director] is very aware of, and I think hopefully the recommendations that will come back will be sensible."

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