Mercedes CTO makes FIA demand after Christian Horner’s warning

Max Verstappen and Red Bull have dominated Formula 1 since the turn of the new aero regulations in 2022.

Mike Elliot, the chief technical officer of Mercedes, has called for close collaboration between Formula 1 teams and the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) to ensure the forthcoming 2026 regulations are effective and streamlined. 

The impending changes are set to introduce fresh power units, emphasising electrification and sustainable fuels, while also eliminating the MGU-H component from the engine unit.

While the new power unit regulations have been finalised, attention has shifted toward the chassis and aerodynamic regulations. 

Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull, has expressed apprehensions about the potential evolution of a “Frankenstein” formula. 

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The FIA, for its part, has expressed a desire to reduce the size and weight of the cars, which have gradually increased over the past several years.

Presently, the minimum weight of a Formula 1 car is set at 798kg, a staggering 107kg heavier than the vehicles from the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014.

“Clearly, the power unit regulations are already established. We comprehend the specifications of those,” Elliot shared during an interaction with reporters. 

However, considering the intricate nature of the regulations, Elliot highlighted the imperative need for all teams and the governing body to come together and devise a comprehensive rulebook.

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“In our pursuit to enhance the raceability of the cars, we must also focus on enhancing their performance,” he stated. 

“We’ll need to reduce aerodynamic drag on the straights and enhance overall efficiency.”

“As we gaze into the horizon of 2026, a multitude of factors come into play—such as tire specifications, car weight adjustments, and aerodynamic dynamics. 

“It’s a complex and extensive scenario,” Elliot added.

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“In the forthcoming months, it’s crucial that teams and the FIA collaboratively address the intricacies of crafting regulations that are functional and effective.”

The upcoming rule changes promise a transformative era for Formula 1, marked by a profound shift toward sustainable technologies. 

While the power unit changes lay the groundwork for environmental consciousness, the focus on chassis and aerodynamics underscores the sport’s mission to achieve closer wheel-to-wheel action for fans.