Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur weighed on on the 2026 power unit regulation debate recently ignited by Toto Wolff and Christian Horner, claiming the rules could be fine tuned.
The 2026 Formula 1 power unit regulation will scrap the MGU-H component from the hybrid part of the unit, and will increase the contribution of the electrical component in the overall power output to 50%, in addition to using sustainable fuels for the turbocharged V6 Internal Combustion Engines.
However, Red Bull’s Christian Horner has expressed concern that the 50% electrical contribution is too much with concerns that drivers cannot go full throttle for the full lap suggesting a sway towards internal combustion power, something Mercedes’ Toto Wolff rejected accusing Horner of trying to change the rules to suit his benefits and that Red Bull’s power unit division might be in trouble developing their 2026 unit.
Horner has recently labeled what Wolff said as scaremongering; he said: “I’m sure there’s a lot of scaremongering that goes on that Red Bull is struggling, and that Red Bull is in the sh!t.”
Too soon to make conclusions
Asked about the matter, Ferrari’s Fred Vasseur insists it is impossible for someone to give a conclusive opinion at this point, he told Motorsport.com: “We are supposed to have a working group to be all on the same page about what could be the outcome of the current regulations.
“We have to make some assumptions, because it’s not really clear about the tyre grip, aero downforce, drag. You can do whatever you want today, if you say that the grip of the tyres is decreasing by 30%.
“It means that we have to agree on the strategy. Probably the path of the regulation is going into the direction to keep the same size of the tyres, to do this, to do that, and to have a working group saying that plus or minus 5% that the speed trace will be this one.
“Today, we are not there. For me, it’s quite early stage to draw a conclusion when we are not able to have the same vision of what could be the speed trace.
“A good solution, again, is to first to agree on something, to make some assumptions. Let’s say that we keep the size of the current tyres, we keep the DRS, we have downforce more or less similar to today, where we are,” the Frenchman suggested. “And then what we have to change to try to improve the show, not to start on the opposite, to complain before we do the exercise.”
Still time to make changes
As to whether it is too late to change the 2026 power unit regulations, Vasseur said: “No, we have time to fine tune them.
“First, I think the most important thing is to agree on what could be this speed trace plus or minus 10%. And then if we are worried about the fact that we would have to lift off too early and so on, to change something, I think marginally we can change.
“On our side, we are at the early stage of this and it’s a three-year programme that it’s far enough early to make a small change,” he revealed. “And I think honestly the impact on the speed trace of plus or minus 5% of energy coming from ICE is mega. We don’t need to come back to 20%.”
However, the Ferrari team principal insisted that the hybrid path is the right one; he said: “It’s a discussion that the big bosses of the OEMs had one year ago or two years ago in Monza.
“I think we are following also the path of the industry, they are going more and more on the hybrid with a high level of electricity, and we are taking this direction,” Vasseur concluded.