Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

New override mode will be “very comparable to DRS” in 2026 – Tombazis

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In the round-up: The FIA has confirmed Formula 1’s new manual override system for 2026 will have the same one-second proximity window as DRS does today.

In brief

Manual override to depend on proximity

The FIA’s single seater director Nikolas Tombazis, says that the new ‘manual override mode’ power boost set to be introduced with the new power units for 2026 will be dependent on cars being within a certain gap of the car ahead.

“We will be achieving a very similar effect to the DRS with the electrical part of the engine,” Tombazis told the official F1 website. “Cars that are within one second of the front car will have a bit more energy to recover and they will be also able to use a bit more power on the straights.

“So we believe that effect is very, very comparable to the DRS.”

Ferrari complete Mugello tyre test

Ferrari completed their second day of running in a two-day tyre test with Pirelli at the Mugello circuit.

After Charles Leclerc ran over 600km on the first day on Thursday in mixed conditions, Carlos Sainz Jnr ran just over 700km as F1’s tyre supplier focused on reducing tyres overheating from next season.

“These two days have been very valuable,” said Pirelli’s motorsport director, Mario Isola. “The data gathered over these 1,337 kilometres here are very interesting and will allow us to begin to narrow the field of what might be the most effective solutions, so we can finalise our choices over the coming months.”

2025 WEC calendar announced

The FIA has confirmed the World Endurance Championship calender for 2025, running an identical schedule to the current championship.

The season will comprise the same eight rounds at the same eight circuits in the same order, starting with a prologue test at the Losail circuit in Qatar before the 1,812km of Qatar in late February and ending with the Eight Hours of Bahrain in November.

The FIA also announced that it has signed a deal with the Imola circuit to keep the track on the WEC calender until at least the end of the 2028 season.

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Comment of the day

With the FIA modifying its own sporting code to open the door for Andrea Kimi Antonelli to make his grand prix debut before turning 18, RBAlonso expresses their hesitancy at this decision…

I don’t think we should allow under 18s in the sport.

My reasoning for this was my gut reaction to Fernando Alonso’s 2012 crash at Spa. I was standing at the Bus Stop that day, in full red, next to an 8-year-old Spanish kid. When the crash happened, the crowd had no idea of the severity – pre-halo – were concerned that Alonso wasn’t moving. That crash pre-dates Jules Bianchi and Maria de Villota’s fatal accidents, and a large portion of the crowd were concerned it was a head knock given how recently we had seen Felipe Massa, Henry Surtees and David Coulthard and Alexander Wurz in the previous seasons.

This event formed my opinion on the halo, which likely saved Charles Leclerc at the same corner – ironically with Alonso – six years later. I felt a death to the championship leader would have been incredibly difficult for a modern sport to move on from. If that driver had been a child – I dread to think of the reaction.

Modern F1 fans are much more risk-averse than my generation. A serious accident between adults is tragic but accepted. An accident like Romain Grosjean had in Bahrain to a 17-year-old isn’t. Of course, these events can happen in junior formulae – but the big difference is that F1 is most widely watched, most commercial and expected to be most professional. All of that goes out the window with a fatality of a minor in my opinion.
RBAlonso

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to David A, Mateuss, Vikas and Eoin Harrington!

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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27 comments on “New override mode will be “very comparable to DRS” in 2026 – Tombazis”

  1. Derek Edwards
    15th June 2024, 1:02

    I could barely agree less with the comment of the day. Does a death in a sport become acceptable if the competitor is older? I don’t think so. Each death could have happened to any driver regardless of age or talent, from Pryce to Villeneuve to De Angelis to Senna to Ratzenberger to Paletti, and each represents an opportunity to try to stop it happening again as well as reflecting on the chain of events that led us there. The optics of death are not age-specific and certainly not an obstacle to letting the prodigies race.

    1. I think our disagreement lies within the definition of the word ‘acceptable’. My intention is not to suggest that an adult death is admissable, more that there are different boundaries for children.

      For example, I accept the IOM TT, the WRC, MotoGP, boxing, even rugby, are inherently dangerous by nature. I don’t follow these sports closely but I guarantee the reaction to Tyson Fury serious injuring or worse a 17yo has considerably worse optics than 2 consenting adults.

      I feel in a global sport with deep commercial interests needs to flirt with danger to be attractive. But we should never forget how dangerous the sport can be and I think it would be reckless to risk the life of a child, and the reputation of the sport worldwide, to satisfy one team’s young driver policy.

      Historically, as we’re on Le Mans weekend, we can look to 1955. Even at a time of huge risk, mass fatalities, the crowd were a protected species – and rightly so. I think we should afford children that right too. It’s about adults making the moral choice.

      1. I agree with the general idea of the COTD but think ultimately it doesn’t make much difference as the junior categories like F2 have many younger drivers but are no less dangerous than F1.

    2. Derek Edwards The COTD is very good, especially given the liability issue if an underage driver gets involved in a big situation.

      1. Thank you mate, very kind of you to say.

      2. The FIA dropped the senior karting age limit to 14. So you have actually fully grown adults racing actual children. This is where everyone should be looking with skepticism.

      3. I agree. I hadn’t thought of the age from the perspective of what happens if a 16yo were to get killed (even if it’s nearly impossible in these cars now) and it was a good point. And, with this new generation of fans who don’t think even the slightest danger is justifiable (an odd opinion for a group who like to crow about the drivers’ bravery), the fallout would be never ending.

  2. I don’t get it. The FIA comes up with some whiz-bang electronic gimmickry to duplicate the effects of DRS? If they continue to insist that passing assist is necessary, and “… we believe that effect is very, very comparable to the DRS.”, why not simply keep DRS? At least we can see when that is being deployed. Although, maybe that’s the whole point of the exercise? If we can’t see it, we can pretend that it isn’t there.

    1. I think MOM will still be more akin to Kers & ERS.

      1. notagrumpyfan
        15th June 2024, 10:23

        The Manual Override Mode is the exact opposite of (K)ERS. The first one uses the energy, an ERS (in its purest form) recovers the energy.

        Not sure about your mother though ;)

        1. I see what you did, but you do know I merely used an acronym, hence all letters capitalized.

    2. @schooner Because in 2026 all cars will have active aerodynamics. So in the straights, both cars – not just the one following within 1sec as it is now – will open their rear wings (like DRS does) to achieve higher top speeds. Basically there will not be any aerodynamic advantage from one car to another, so FIA wants to recreate the advantage of DRS, in a different way and apparently this is the easiest I guess…

  3. Maybe in some ways, but still not quite the same as DRS in the full sense.

    A great COTD choice, which I saw coming after reading it for the first time yesterday.

  4. someone or something
    15th June 2024, 10:08

    Hats off for this thought-provoking comment! At first, I wasn’t sure where it was going, but it’s all coming together at the end and makes a very good point.

  5. So FIA basically admits they are no longer even trying to make F1 cars do sth as simple as being less aero-dependent to be able to follow one another closely and be able to overtake. They now just go for artifical manipulation of car performance depending on their on-track position. Manufactured overtakes – DISGUSTING.

    1. its all about the lowest common denominator when it comes to marketing and money making. The more stupid F1 gets the more money guys like Toto and Liberty believe they can make.

      Thats why they are picking guys like Antonelli, who have no real talent, to win races, because the only way they win is for the love of artificial gimmicks and tire manipulation.

      You wanna know why guys like Toto hate Lewis Hamilton, because he can bargain with his skill, Toto wants mediocre drivers and fixed racing series that he can control. So that the profits keep coming in. F1 is in the garbage can, the power units have done what they were meant to do, wreck the competitiveness of the smaller teams and made them dependent on the ‘manufacturers’. Now that they are dependent, like Williams so very much is, they will do what ever guys like Toto want, jump through hoops, act like orangutans, say what needs to be said, and lose on command. This is F1, controlled to the Nth degree.

      1. You wanna know why guys like Toto hate Lewis Hamilton,

        From everything I’ve ever seen, Toto doesn’t hate Lewis, or drivers like him.

        You, however, seem to have a definite hate on for Toto.
        There are people I dislike, but I don’t let it consume me.

  6. Fan Boost or Bust. And more curbs, lots of curbs, speed bumps and the occasional banana peel.

  7. And here we were criticising DRS… only for them to come back with an alternative that is even worse. They really, really, really don’t care about the sport do they? Unbelievable. All for the revenue and shareholder value of the entertainment franchise. Might as well be a circus. I do not think F1 has ever been in a worse state.

    1. I’ve said it for years – there’s NO WAY they’ll ever get rid of DRS, no matter what they call it or how it’s implemented. The genie will never go back in to the lamp. We’re lumbered with it. The culture has changed to accept it, particularly with so many new young fans. It absolutely sucks.

      1. Yeah, we are a dying species. Dying because we are with not enough. And volume equals money. Money wins. Volume wins. Volume is stupid and likes artificial/easy.

  8. Depends on how they implement it. If it’s like p2p it sounds good if it’s as they’re planning (within a second) like drs yes we have a problem. And I’ll say it the 50th time. They are so lazy they never tried anything different with drs and they’re implementing a new overtaking aid just like drs. Idyots

    1. Yes, they should’ve tried some things like we suggested, such as reducing drs effectiveness to 50% or something like that, we’re in a situation where you either have motorway passes where usually the car ahead can’t defend, or else you can’t pass basically.

      1. Or only so many uses per race. Possibly regardless of area on track and regardless of proximity to another car, similar to P2P in indycar. That’s just a few things they could have tried.

        I’ll add that I think for Monaco drs usage should be regardless of zones and proximity to cars ahead but each driver given a time allowance for the race eg 120 second.
        That and the race should be 450-500km.
        And at least 3 or 4 mandatory stops

  9. With the FIA modifying its own sporting code to open the door for Andrea Kimi Antonelli to make his grand prix debut before turning 18,

    Here we go again, repeating the untruth.

    The FIA did not remove the operative sentence in 13.1.2 (used to be 13.1.3) clearly states:

    13.1.2 The driver must be at least 18 years old at the start of the event of his first F1 competition

    The following sentence makes provision, at FIA discretion, for an individual to be granted a Super Licence when they are 17, it does not negate the previous sentence.

    Go here: https://www.fia.com/regulation/category/123 and scroll down to “Appendix L International Sporting Code” use the search function of your browser and search for 13.1 to read the regulation insitu, “from the horses mouth”

  10. The more I read about the FIA’s plans for F1 the less interesting it sounds.

    1. Honestly sounds abysmal. An even more confusing version of DRS. Wonderful.

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