Verstappen: Simulator reveals 2026 F1 guidelines will produce “horrible” automobiles

Max Verstappen has echoed his Purple Bull group principal Christian Horner’s warnings over the issues they imagine the 2026 System 1 guidelines will create.

Following exams on the group’s simulator, Verstappen listed a sequence of considerations over the results of the deliberate modifications to the engine rules, which have been agreed final 12 months. He warned the brand new guidelines will make overtaking tougher, create heavier automobiles and even pressure drivers to alter down gears on the finish of lengthy straights to maximise efficiency.

Verstappen additionally claimed the brand new rules will place an excessive amount of emphasis on the significance of energy unit design over different elements of the automotive.

Purple Bull’s rivals Mercedes have already dismissed a few of their considerations. Mercedes group principal Toto Wolff accused Horner of “doom mongering”, rejected claims drivers must downshift on the straights, and claimed Purple Bull’s feedback reveals they’re involved in regards to the state of their engine improvement programme.

F1 final modified its engine guidelines when it launched its present V6 hybrid turbo rules in 2014. Mercedes dominated that season and the 2 years after it thanks largely to the efficiency of their energy unit.

Verstappen warned the brand new engine guidelines threat creating one other scenario the place one group has a big benefit and can improve prices.

“For me, the issue is, it seems to be prefer it’s going to be an ICE [internal combustion engine] competitors, like whoever has the strongest engine could have a giant profit. However I don’t suppose that must be the intention of System 1, as a result of then you’ll begin an enormous improvement struggle once more, and it’ll develop into fairly costly to seek out in all probability a couple of horsepower right here and there. I believe it truly must be the alternative.”

The 2-times world champion mentioned his first impression of the affect the brand new guidelines could have just isn’t optimistic.

“I’ve been speaking about that with the group and I’ve seen the info already on the simulator as nicely. To me, it seems to be fairly horrible.

“I imply, in case you go flat-out on the straight at Monza, I don’t know what it’s, like 4 or 5 hundred [metres] earlier than the tip of the straight, you need to downshift flat-out, as a result of that’s sooner. I believe that’s not the way in which ahead, [but] in fact, in all probability that’s one of many worst tracks.”

F1 intends to shift the steadiness of energy era in its subsequent era of motors in order that the interior combustion engine and electrical programs every present round 50% of the whole energy output. In an effort to do this whereas retaining present efficiency ranges, F1 plans to introduce lively programs to scale back drag.

Verstappen believes that can make it tougher to overhaul and mentioned the programs must be driver-controlled, reasonably than automated.

“The automobiles in all probability have lots much less drag so it is going to be even tougher to overhaul on the straight,” he mentioned. “You might have the lively aerodynamics, which you’ll’t management, the system will management it for you.

“Which then I believe makes it very awkward to drive, as a result of I want to manage it myself. In fact, if you’re behind somebody, possibly you want extra entrance or extra rear. These form of issues. If the system begins to manage that for you, I don’t suppose that’s the proper method ahead.”

Whereas the 2026 chassis rules haven’t but been finalised, the brand new energy models will probably be heavier. F1 is already making an attempt to reverse a succession of will increase within the minimal weight restrict over the previous decade and a half, and Verstappen believes the brand new guidelines will make issues worse.

“The burden goes up once more, so now we have to noticeably take a look at this as a result of ’26 just isn’t that far-off. For the time being, to me, it seems to be very unhealthy from all of the numbers and what I see from the info already. So it’s not one thing I’m very enthusiastic about for the time being.”

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