Why did F1 ban teams from working on 2026 cars till next year?

The current set of F1 regulations has been in place since the start of 2022 and will come to an end in 2025.


Why did F1 ban teams from working on 2026 cars till next year?

George Russell leading the 2022 Sao Paulo GP (via IMAGO)

F1 saw a major overhaul in the technical regulations in 2022. Since then, those set of regulations have been operating in the sport, and amidst Red Bull’s dominance under the current set, it has come to light that F1’s hierarchy has decided to ban the various teams from working on their 2026 cars.

It is believed that the decision-makers at the pinnacle of motor racing and also at the FIA, are planning to come up with major regulations overall for 2026 and thus, do not want the participating teams to work on their 2026 cars until the end of 2024. The updated regulations for 2026 state;

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In order to prevent testing which aims to develop for the 2026 season, from 1/12/2023 until 1/1/2025 inclusive, RWTT [restricted wind tunnel testing] may only be carried out using a scale model that substantially complies with the 2023, 2024 or 2025 F1 technical regulations.

It is quite clear that the various F1 teams will not be allowed to do any work regarding the development of their 2026 car. During the upcoming years, the teams will only be seen putting their best foot forward around the development of their cars under the current regulations.

Red Bull has the upper hand on rival F1 teams until 2026

While the sport has decided to bring the work of all the F1 teams to a halt regarding the development of their 2026 cars, the mighty Red Bull F1 team has performed the best under the current set of regulations. Moreover, the way they performed during the 2023 season, all signs are leading toward the continuance of their dominance till the end of 2025.

Christian Horner and Max Verstappen
Christian Horner and Max Verstappen. (Image via IMAGO)

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has performed in a league of his own since 2022 and has secured three titles on the bounce. While the first came during the turbo hybrid era, his next two have come under the current regulations and he is tipped by many to continue his dominance during the next two years.

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F1 is growing at a rapid pace in all aspects and considering this, it is going to be fascinating to see how the F1 teams will deal with the next set of regulations that are slated to kick in from 2026 onward. until then, Red Bull could keep on stamping its authority at the pinnacle of motor racing.

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