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Max Verstappen

Verstappen slams 'terrible' F1 2026 rules

With F1's proposed rule changes for 2026 including a greater reliance on battery power, Max Verstappen has several areas of concern about the sport moving in such a direction.

Max Verstappen has slammed F1's proposed rule changes for 2026, saying the alterations will make the cars 'terrible' to drive.

The proposed changes for 2026 include an increased reliance on batteries, with a 50/50 split between combustion engine and electric power production.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner had previously suggested that it may be necessary to lower the proposed reliance on electrical power, lest drivers need to downshift on straights in order to produce enough energy to recharge the batteries.

Speaking after his Austrian Grand Prix win, Verstappen said he agreed with Horner's concerns to the proposed alterations for 2026.

"I've been talking about that as well with the team and I've seen the data already on the simulator as well," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"To me, it looks pretty terrible. If you go flat-out on the straight at Monza, four or five hundred [metres] before the end, you have to downshift flat-out because that's faster. I think that's not the way forward."

2026 regulations to lead to engine development war?

Verstappen added that the regulations could precipitate an expensive arms race, as teams and engine suppliers battle to produce the most efficient power unit.

"The problem is it looks like it's going to be an ICE competition, like whoever has the strongest engine will have a big benefit," said Verstappen.

"But I don't think that should be the intention of Formula 1, because then you will start a massive development war again, and it will become quite expensive to find a few horsepower here and there.

"I think it actually should be the opposite. Plus, the cars probably have a lot less drag, so it will be even harder to overtake on the straight."

The Dutchman added that he was also not looking forward to the prospect of a greater degree of automation within the cockpit.

"And then you have the active aerodynamics, which you can't control - the system will control it for you, which then makes it very awkward to drive, because I prefer to control it myself," said Verstappen.

"When you're behind someone, maybe you need more front or more rear – these kind of things. If the system starts to control that for you, I don't think that's the right way forward.

"Plus, the weight is going up again, so we have to seriously look at this because 2026 is not that far away.

"At the moment, to me, it looks very bad from all the numbers and what I see from the data already, so it's not something I'm very excited about at the moment."

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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