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FIA insists “significant” weight cut for 2026 is realistic despite teams’ doubts

Formula 1

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The FIA is sticking by its plan to cut the minimum weight limit by 30 kilograms in 2026 despite Formula 1 teams warning they may not be able to reach it.

The sport’s governing body revealed its plans for F1’s next generation of technical rules early this week. They described the concept as a “nimble car” which will be slimmer and shorter than current machines, with narrower wheels.

It has set the minimum weight limit at 768kg. However several teams have expressed doubts this will be achievable. Williams team principal James Vowles predicted it will be “incredibly difficult” to bring car weights down that far while also incorporating the other features demanded by the rules such as the larger batteries required for the new hybrid power units.

However the FIA’s single seater director Nikolas Tombazis says they are “quite determined to reduce the weight of the cars.” He acknowledged the new rules will mean some car parts become heavier but believes the overall reduction in weight is realistic.

“We’ve been working on a range of assumptions based on work that Jan [Monchaux, single seater technical director] has been doing in collaboration with the teams. And we’ve got a range of areas where we know weight will go up and we’ve got a range of areas where we know weight will go down.

“What we have as a target is based on a challenging but what we feel is feasible target. Clearly we are going to be still asking teams for some estimates about the weight savings they can make and so on and we are going through that process.

“But we are pretty determined to reduce the weight in a significant way, which is the first time it is happening, I think, in Formula 1 since probably the eighties or something.”

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The minimum weight limit was just 605kg in 2009 but has risen steadily since then. Part of that rise was due to the introduction of a maximum 80kg allowance for the drivers’ weight in 2019. That will rise slightly in 2026, Tombazis confirmed.

“The feeling was that 80 could penalise a few of the slightly heavier drivers and we are going to be going to 82 kilos.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “FIA insists “significant” weight cut for 2026 is realistic despite teams’ doubts”

  1. car weights will only drop “significantly” when there is only one “engine” in the chassis.
    once one account for the eletric part of the power unit, it is pretty limited where one can shave off mass from the cars.

  2. Why don’t they just impose a limit on car length? Easy way to reduce weight no? Would look better and be a little better for racing too

  3. It is the same cause: fitting two “engines” on the car necessarily adds length to the car, not to mention weight.
    Take a look on the size of the electric part of the power unit and you will see how they cant make the cars shorter.

    1. the extra length is more down to teams adding a spacer between the engine & gearbox to extend the length of the car for aero benefits as it gives them more floor space to maximise the efficiency of the diffuser.

      there’s also some of the safety improvements that have made the noses & rear crash structures longer. I also think the noses were made longer for the 2022 regulations because of the way the front wing is angled.

  4. Do we still need a weight limit? Back when I started watching F1 in the 90s I could understand the need to limit speed and teams had to ballast the car to meet the requirements. But from what I’m inferring here this philosophy has long gone as there are some fairly extreme routes taken to shave a few hundred grams.

    Unless we go back to pure ICE I’m not sure we will ever get back to a natural weight that is fundamentally unsafe, especially as weighty crash protection structures will be ever present.

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