Are V10s set to return to Formula 1?

Formula 1 cars have been powered with turbo-hybrid V6 power units since 2014, but V10s could potentially make a comeback.

The screeching sound of a V10 Formula 1 engine is a dream to many motorsport fans, who grew up hearing that sound every race weekend.

The V10 era reminds fans of drivers such as Michael Schumacher and the sound of the current engines simply does not compare to the violently loud V10 engine.

Formula 1 introduced V6 turbo-hybrid power units back in 2014 and has stuck with this method of powering the cars ever since.

This is all a part of F1’s plans to become as sustainable as possible, with the major engine regulation changes that are set to come in 2026 seeing the electrical output of these engines increased to 350 kilowatts.

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The turbo-hybrid engines are significantly heavier than the old V10 engines however, leading to the minimum weight for an F1 car in 2023 being just under 800kg.

This limits the racing quality at smaller street circuits such as Monaco, with the cars just not being anywhere near as agile as they used to be.

Sky Sports pundit Karun Chandhok has now called for F1 to return to the iconic V10 engines, claiming that the sport can still be sustainable this way.

“As I’ve said on several occasions – I think it’s time for F1 to ditch the hybrids with the heavy batteries,” he tweeted.

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“Light cars with the V10s screaming on sustainable fuels would be brilliant…

“Le Mans is pushing hybrids, FE is doing electric, F1 can lead development in sustainable fuels.

“Sadly, the manufacturers will never let it happen.”

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From 2026, Formula 1 will be powered entirely by sustainable fuels, with only 10 percent of the current mix being renewable ethanol.

F1 are looking to make a number of other changes to help the sport become sustainable, with the plan to remove electric tyre blankets from the sport being criticised by Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz.

As Chandhok mentioned, it seems incredibly unlikely that the V10 engines will return, leaving the iconic screeching sound as nothing but nostalgia for F1 fans.