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Parc Ferme: The New Old F1 Regs

Parc Ferme: The New Old F1 Regs

Parc Ferme: The New Old F1 Regs

The new 2026 Formula 1 regulations issued by the FIA were received with a triumphant “meow” last week. Neither the teams nor any of the self-respecting pre-DTS fans saw them as any type of progress in enhancing the sport.

At this point, I would add that we should not shoot the messenger. The FIA may have issued them, but the heavily FOM-influenced F1 working groups, in charge of their development, probably handed them over with a nod and wink. You know, the type of offer from someone packing a gun that you can’t refuse.

Since the teams are stakeholders in FOM, you’d think they might have ensured the regulations were more in line with their own ideas. However, this would undermine the charade that the FIA exercised control on this matter. The teams are already intimating that they need adjusting. Unfairly, it’s the FIA that ends up in the stock of public opinion though.

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Do or do not

It’s no secret that today’s F1 race cars are bloated and cumbersome. The main culprit is the battery, which is necessary to meet the manufacturer’s hybrid power unit development goals. Tail-wagging dog, anyone? This not only makes the cars wide and long but also difficult to handle on the track. A mere 30kg drop in weight won’t make a significant difference, so why bother? Instead, leave it as it is and focus on running proper liveries on the cars.

Power management

Remember how disappointed you were at Christmas when the batteries ran out on your new toy car? Then imagine how the drivers are going to feel when they press the fast pedal and not much happens.

Some have suggested the Internal Combustion Engine function will just be a generator for electric PU. Whilst this is already an existing situation, the new regulations will only serve to exacerbate it. Some speculate that the drivers will want to be on the power going into the corner to ensure they have the beanz on the exit.

All a bit surreal. Re-gen management is a distraction from the racing and should not have to be a required line on a drivers CV.

Come back, all is forgiven

DRS-zone

DRS is dead, but only in name. Rebranded as “Zones X and Z,” it is a tilt to ensure straight-line speeds on the underpowered engines are masked by eliminating drag. Since proximity to the next car will no longer be a thing, the alleged overtaking benefits will be negated, just like the current DRS trains. However, it is the lesser of the two evils.

Predictably unpredictable

Since it works across the front and rear wings, one can only hope that they open and close in tandem. Failure to do so could have a catastrophic effect on the car’s handling under acceleration, braking, and cornering.

A malfunction in the system cannot be discounted. Of course, a mechanical or material failure is an ever-present possibility in F1. However, creating more opportunities for it seems to counter the safety messaging equally stressed in the regulations.

Bad rubber

Based on what’s been presented, overtaking in 2026 will continue to rely on the differential in tyre life, with the bonus of the driver cocking up his re-gen.

It’s hardly drivers duking it out man vs man and a tad unfair on Pirelli; especially when the Italian manufacturer is so often blamed for producing a “bad” product when all they have done is follow FOM’s prescription. A big plus with the previous regulations was closing the competitive lap time difference on the grid. Unfortunately, other restrictions have prevented them from turning that success into racing.

In summary, it seems that once again F1’s “raceability” is being sacrificed on the altar of manufacturer relevance and in turn, FOM’s bank account. See you in Spain for more of the same…