F1 News

pat symonds on new 2026 technical regulations

F1 technical director: 'Will be more emphasis on the driver from 2026'

1 April at 17:00
  • GPblog.com

From 2026, Formula 1's technical regulations will be completely overhauled again. The biggest aim of this is to make the engines more sustainable. In the Beyond The Grid podcast, Formula 1 technical director Pat Symonds explains what else is behind the upcoming changes.

The last time the technical regulations changed this much was in 2022. There has been a greater focus on downforce, allowing the cars to get closer together and race better. This has succeeded to some extent, as the field is much closer together now than in previous years.

What are the goals of the new 2026 technical regulations?

Besides the new 2022 technical regulations, there is another reason why the field is closer together. This is because, according to Symonds, the budget cap has also played a big part in this. "But the budget cap doesn't really get the medals it deserves because the budget cap is fundamental to the future of Formula One."
Before Symonds became technical director at Formula One, he worked at Williams. Here, he saw firsthand that it was almost impossible for some teams to stay afloat before the budget cap was introduced in 2021.

So from 2026, the emphasis will be on sustainability. Formula One's technical director wants to surprise people with the possibilities available to keep racing sustainably anyway. "We want people to come to watch a race and say: 'wow, gosh, look what they're doing, sustainable fuel. Didn't even know you could do that. Thought you had to dig it out of the ground. They're managing to power the whole paddock sustainably. Wow, that's impressive, isn't it?' I think that these sort of things are really important."

The upcoming updated technical regulations will also put more emphasis on the capabilities of the drivers themselves. "We do want to reduce the downforce on the cars. Part of the reason why the cars are so heavy is because they're having to deal with so much load. So they'll slide a little bit more. I think what it will do is it will put a little bit more emphasis on the driver. As we were saying earlier, I think that's an important thing. It's the drivers who are the heroes. They're the supermen that we want to promote. So, yeah, I think things are going in the right direction there."