Early days yet but thankfully on the agenda for the new look 2026 is going to please many here who have complained about the huge increase of the dimensions of F1 cars over the years to the point of the ridiculous size of todays cars.
Of course the one thing I notice is the fact they are only 'targeting reduced dimensions.... actually achieving that is not yet confirmed as we have yet to see any firm ideas beyond what the engines might be. However the fact that engines are likely to have their bulk trimmed substantially with less addon bits is at least an indicator that size reduction of cars will be a genuine chance.
ANyway as it is obviously going to be a long process with many proposals and counter proposals I thought a thread to cover the ongoing size projections of cars exclusively will save confusion of different bits of news being addd to different existing threads. At least with a dedicated to the new bodywork regs will keep it all in one place for easier ongoing discussion and reference.
We have in the past shown pics showing the changes of car size over the decades.
This one I have dug out shows only how Ferrari have grown over the years, but all manus have almost identical growth patterns, be it for containing all the componentry through to increased use of safety cells and crash structures through to the increase in size for aero benefit.
F1 targeting smaller cars for 2026
https://www.speedcafe.com/2022/04/27/f1 ... -for-2026/Formula 1 could see a return to smaller cars in the mid-term future, per goals outlined in relation to the world championship’s next generation of power units.
F1 introduced revolutionary new technical regulations this season, with a shift to ground effects having proven a hit in facilitating closer racing.
On the horizon is the next wave of power units, which are due to debut in 2026.
Four pillars had already been announced for the 2026 power unit, namely: maintaining the spectacle, environmental sustainability (including up to 50 percent electrical power and using 100 percent sustainable fuel), financial sustainability, and being attractive to new manufacturers.
Porsche and Audi have been linked to joining F1 at that point in time.
A meeting of the FIA Formula 1 Commission in London has now outlined a further six targets with regards to updating related aerodynamic regulations following simulation work.
Significantly reduced drag to improve sustainability and efficiency and complement the Power Unit characteristics.
Maintain and improve on recent lessons learned about close racing and cars being able to follow each other.
Reduce car dimensions.
Reduce or contain car mass.
Sustainability: Continue path towards the standardisation or simplification of strategically-selected components for cost-cutting purposes. Expand the usage of sustainable materials or technologies and focus on recyclability.
Continued innovation in terms of car safety, moving towards active and connected safety systems.
The third and fourth points are of particular note, given that F1 cars have become significantly larger and heavier over the years.
Changes to the power unit could facilitate a shorter, more petite car.
A freeze on engine development is now in place until the end of 2025, ensuring that manufacturers aren’t running parallel programmes.
Other outcomes out of the second Commission meeting of the year include a trial of reducing tyre allocations at two grands prix in 2023.