The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council has finally rubber-stamped the power unit regulations that will come into effect from the 2026 Formula 1 season.
Discussions have been ongoing for several years over the composition of the engine formula from 2026, with the FIA, Formula 1 and existing and prospective manufacturers all involved.
On Tuesday, following a meeting of the WMSC, the 2026 sporting, technical and financial regulations governing power units were approved.
The FIA has long outlined four key objectives: maintaining the spectacle (ensuring performance is similar to the current PUs), environmental sustainability, financial sustainability, and its attractiveness to new PU manufacturers.
The Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) will retain the 1.6 litre V6 layout at the same RPM, with a reduced fuel flow rate, and broadly split into two parts.’
The upper part is mainly focused on the combustion area and there will be more freedom to develop the combustion system for the new fuel.
The lower part, involving the engine block, crankshaft, connecting rods, pumps and ancillaries, will be more prescribed.
All fuel components must come from fully sustainable sources in order to ensure that no new fossil carbon will be used in the fuels.
The biggest change compared to the current PU is the removal of the MGU-H, while the FIA has outlined that variable trumpets and their actuation and control systems will be removed.
The Energy Recovery System (ERS) will be increased in power to 350kW and will remain a key area of competition between PU manufacturers.
It has also been outlined that the positioning of key PU components is more restrictive in the 2026 regulations in order to avoid long-term advantages or disadvantages being locked in.
For 2026 each driver will have available four ICEs, Turbochargers and exhaust units, along with three Energy Stores and MGU-Ks.
This number will reduce to three and two respectively from the 2027 season.
Financial regulations will also be introduced as of the 2023 season concerning PU costs.
The cost cap has been set at $95m for the period 2023-25 and $130m for 2026 and beyond.
“The FIA continues to push forward on innovation and sustainability – across our entire motor sport portfolio – the 2026 Formula 1 Power Unit Regulations are the most high-profile example of that mission,” said FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
“The introduction of advanced PU technology along with synthetic sustainable fuels aligns with our objective of delivering benefits for road car users and meeting our objective of net zero carbon by 2030.
“Formula 1 is currently enjoying immense growth and we are confident these Regulations will build on the excitement our 2022 changes have produced.
“I want to thank all of the FIA management and technical staff involved in this process for their diligence and commitment in working together with all of our Formula 1 stakeholders to deliver this. I also want to thank our WMSC members for their consideration and approval of these regulations.”
Missed opportunity. With the arrival of synthetic fuel, they should have scrapped the hybrid altogether and given us back either four-litre V8s or a choice of V10 or V12 as a five-litre.