Max Verstappen’s fury over F1 regulation changes

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has criticised planned regulation changes, believing it’ll hurt the sport.

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen has openly voiced his disappointment with the forthcoming 2026 Formula 1 regulations, describing the anticipated results as “pretty terrible.” 

The Dutch driver’s concerns stem from early simulator data that suggests the new rules could lead to poor outcomes for the sport.

The 2026 regulations will introduce significant changes to engine requirements, with 50% of the power in all cars being generated by the hybrid system. 

This shift towards increased hybridisation is expected to have substantial ramifications for Formula 1. 

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Notably, the added weight of multiple batteries onboard the cars will pose challenges, necessitating aerodynamic modifications to maintain high speeds.

In its pursuit of carbon neutrality by 2030, the FIA is keen on transitioning towards engines that prioritise electrical power. 

Additionally, the governing body aims to create a level playing field for all future engine manufacturers. 

However, it is precisely these changes that have left Verstappen dissatisfied with the sport’s trajectory.

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“I’ve been talking about that as well with the team, and I’ve seen the data already on the simulator as well,” shared Verstappen. 

“To me, it looks pretty terrible. I mean, if you go flat-out on the straight at Monza, I don’t know what it is, like four or five hundred (metres) before the end of the straight, you have to downshift flat-out because that’s faster. That’s not the way forward.”

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Expressing his concern, Verstappen added, “Of course, probably that’s one of the worst tracks, but for me, the problem is, it looks like it’s going to be an ICE competition – like whoever has the strongest engine will have a big benefit. 

“I don’t think that should be the intention of Formula 1 because then you will start a massive development war again, and it will become quite expensive to find, probably a few horsepower here and there.”

Verstappen’s comments come as Red Bull Racing embarks on a new era for their power units, recently announcing a partnership with Ford commencing in 2026. Alongside the changes to power units, a cost cap will be imposed, extending the existing cap on operational costs for teams.