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Newey reveals more concerns on 2026 power unit regulations

Adrian Newey has spoken about the potential hurdles the sport may face due to the 2026 power unit regulation changes.

Red Bull's Adrian Newey has highlighted a potential risk of the changing Formula 1 power unit regulations, which take effect in 2026. The sport has introduced updates to the power unit specifications, which place greater emphasis on sustainability, and has encouraged more manufacturers to join the sport. Whilst the power units will retain their core configuration of a 1.6-litre V6 internal combustion engine, there will be a greater electrical output from the Kinetic Motor Generator Unit. The Heat Motor Generator Unit will be removed, and fully-sustainable fuels will be used. The changes have prompted Audi and Ford to join the sport, with the latter teaming up with Red Bull, and has encouraged Honda to reverse their decision to step away from the sport. Following the announcement of the new regulations, F1 design guru Newey had previously cautioned that the 2026 generation of Formula 1 cars would be "quite a lot slower" . Now, Newey has also shared his fears that there will be sufficient changes to the power units to create big performances gaps between suppliers, which may have an impact on any close racing in Formula 1. "When the [2014] hybrid regulations first came in, there were huge differences. Mercedes did a fantastic job with their power unit and others were varying levels behind," Newey told Sky Sports F1 . "Now it's closed up so I would say there's maybe two or three per cent in the power difference, which is 0.2 to 0.3s difference perhaps, which when the grid is so tight, is still a big number. But it's not like the one second when the regulations came out. "The big risk now is another power unit shake-up in 2026, there could be a gap for a while. If there's a big gap in power units, it takes time for the manufacturers to understand and close it, whereas chassis people can have a quicker reaction time."

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