Formula 1 is set to introduce brand new engine regulations in 2026. Talks around the engines of the future have been going on for a while now and it seems that an agreement is getting closer and closer.
A significant step forward was made during a meeting between the stakeholders a few weeks ago at the Italian GP and now AMuS is reporting that a deal will be reached before the Turkish GP. The main aim is to simplify the structure of the new engines in order to attract new manufacturers with a long term commitment to the circus.
From 2026 onwards the most sophisticated – costly and complicated- component of the V6 turb-hybrids, the MGU-H, will be eliminated. The MGU-H is a fundamental part of the Power Unit, as it converts the thermal energy from the excess exhaust gases to generate electricity. To compensate for the performance loss, F1 is planning to make a more robust MGU-K with an increased power output and introduce a bigger battery. According to AMuS it should go from 120kW (161bhp) to 350kW (469bhp). Apparently the current manufacturers are against recovering energy from the front axle as well, so F1 is considering different options to find balance. Active aerodynamics is one of the possibilities that are being explored, with Christian Horner proposing the introduction of an active suspension.
With this new rules Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault would lose the technical advantage that comes from the experience they have with the MGU-H, levelling them with Red Bull who has set up a division to develop its own engine just recently, following Honda’s departure. The new engine would be less costly and easier to develop, a good thing to attract new manufacturers. As for now the Volkswagen group has been involved in the discussions and it could join Formula 1 with two brands: Audi and Porsche. This way the group would distribute costs and maximise benefits, but it is required to commit to staying on the grid for at least 5 years.