FIA has put plans in place to make 2026 F1 car safe

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According to the FIA's Technical Director Jan Monchaux, Formula One's governing body has put a raft of plans in place that can help teams make the all-new 2026 F1 safe.

Ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA and Formula One released the technical regulations that will define the sport from 2026 onwards.

One of the key changes is that the new cars will be 30kg lighter than current generation F1 cars which should improve efficiency and handling.

Power units will also go through a significant overhaul as the much-debated MGU-H will be ditched and the ratio between the internal combustion engine and the electrical energy will be even. The maximum deployment of electrical energy via the MGU-K (motor generator unit - kinetic) will go from 120 kilowatts (160 hp) under the current regs to a whopping 350 kw (475 hp) -- the same power output as the motor in a Formula E car.

The complete overhaul of the power unit has prompted the sport to introduce active aerodynamics to suit the energy management requirements of new power units. The new cars will run on 100% sustainable fuel.

The FIA single-seater technical director, Nikolas Tombazis, described the purpose of the cars as to be “lighter, more powerful and more focused on driver skill”.

“With this set of regulations the FIA has sought to develop a new generation of cars that are fully in touch with the DNA of Formula One,” he added. “Cars that are light, supremely fast and agile but which also remains at the cutting edge of technology, and to achieve this we worked towards what we called a ‘nimble car’ concept.”

Following the announcement of the new technical regulation, many started to raise concerns about different aspects of the cars. Some said that the new cars will reach top speeds that can be dangerous.

Mercedes driver George Russell said: "They're going to be exceptionally quick in the straights, 360km/h probably at most tracks, which is pretty impressive.

"Obviously then the safety needs to be probably improved, because having a crash at 360, 370km/h is going to be pretty crazy."

His team-mate Lewis Hamilton indicated that the early simulation show that the car will be significantly slower due to the lower cornering speed.

"I have spoken to some drivers who have driven it on the simulator, I haven’t but they said it’s pretty slow, so we will see if it is actually the right direction or not.”

“In terms of sustainability on the power unit, that’s a really bold step and going in the right direction. We have just got to make sure the cars are efficient, fast and an actual step forward and the racing is improved," concluded the seven-time F1 world champion.

However, FIA's Technical Director Jan Monchaux has confirmed that the governing body has put a raft of measures in place to keep the cars in an operating window that is safe for the drivers.

Asked about how the FIA can regulate top speeds on straights, Monchaux said: "We can start there and, for example, prohibit the flattening of the rear wing on some straights or determine how far the rear wing can open."

"We can regulate if necessary how much electrical energy is used to accelerate."

Monchaux has also confirmed that the cars will not reach absurdly high top speeds: "This is nonsense and will not happen like that. But if we did not intervene, this risk would of course exist."

"We will achieve speeds that are approximately at the current level, plus minus five km/h or the like. The cars become lighter and have less downforce than the current cars."

The Frenchman also suggested that the sport might make slight tweaks to the regulation that has been recently released if the governing body and the teams feel that changes are necessary ahead of the final adaptation of the technical overhaul.

"As soon as the car designs and the simulations of the teams have evolved somewhat, we make the necessary adjustments."