top of page

“I think it’s going to be slow, extremely slow” why are F1 drivers concerned about the newest technical regulations for 2026?

Written by Jiya Mahapatra, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Formula 1 is set to see big changes in the next couple of seasons, which include within the make and manufacture of the cars, due to F1’s newest set of technical regulations. During the media day of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, some drivers voiced their opinions on the new regulations and their impact on both racing and driver safety. 

F1’s newest engine rules for the 2026 season aim to take a more sustainable approach to racing, implementing a rule wherein 50% of the car’s power must come from an electrical power unit, while the other half will be drawn from the typical V6 engine. 

While this looks to be a logical step forward to make the sport more sustainable, some drivers raised the point that relying more on electrical power could make the cars slower.

The drivers discussed the newest F1 technical regulations on media day during the Canadian Grand Prix weekend | Credits: Formula One

Lewis Hamilton kicked off the conversation by saying “I’ve spoken to some drivers who have driven it on the simulator - I haven’t- but they said it’s pretty slow”. 

He then countered this by explaining that in theory, the idea of F1 being more sustainable isn’t inherently bad. He stated, “I think in terms of sustainability, especially on the power unit side, I think that’s a really bold step and I think it’s going in the right direction.”

Williams’ Alex Albon agreed with Hamilton’s concerns regarding speed. He said “I don’t want to talk out of turn, but I think it’s going to be slow, extremely slow”, and added that “there needs to be some more work done.”

Lewis Hamilton raised concerns about the impact of the new regulations on speed | Credits - Formula One

The new regulations also include significant reductions in drag and downforce, in an attempt to make the cars faster on the straights, in addition to DRS (drag reduction system) being replaced by a new push-to-pass boost system. 

This effort to increase straight-line speed raised concerns about driver safety, which were brought to light by George Russell when he said, 

“Everybody needs to do a really thorough job ahead of these regulations”.  He went on to explain his view by asserting that “These cars are going to be so quick and have so little downforce on the straights that it’s almost going to feel like you’re floating and flying through air.” 

Downforce is extremely important for the drivers along the straights because it pushes the cars down and gives them more grip on the track, which in turns means that drivers can drive fast without losing control of the car. 

By implementing a regulation that cuts down on downforce, F1 could potentially be making it easier for drivers to lose control putting drivers’ safety at risk, since it will be easier for them to lose control. 

Russell was especially concerned about safety during rainy races, saying If you can imagine in a race where it starts raining and you are on slick tyres doing 250 (kph) on a street circuit, that's going to be a bit of a sketchy place to be.”

On the other hand, Max Verstappen seemed to be slightly more optimistic with F1’s new regulations. He explained:

 “I’ve seen a lot of simulation within the team… I think they made really good progress on how the engine is working with the chassis and the relationship on the straights and stuff”.  

Verstappen’s view echoes the regulations being a change, and the teams will need to adapt and learn about how to make the new engines work to their advantage. 

Overall, the F1 drivers have raised some valid points of discussion regarding the newest regulations for the 2026 season, but regardless, these are changes that all teams will need to be able to adapt to.


bottom of page