Formula 1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds has revealed that a key meeting will be held later this month to finalise the 2026 power unit regulations in a planned shakeup designed to encourage further interest from newcomers such as manufacturers and teams. A move somewhat at odds with the reaction to the Andretti proposal which recently was derided by many established teams on the grid.
Last August, the FIA’s governing body approved the new series of F1 engines that will feature more electric power and 100 per cent sustainable fuels when they are introduced in 2026.
Audi has already announced an entry as an engine supplier and Volkswagen Group’s sister brand Porsche remains interested in building an F1 powertrain with strong suspicions of a tie-in with Williams. Meanwhile, the Andretti Group recently declared their intention to join the F1 grid together with General Motors through their luxury brand Cadillac.
Although the power unit regulations have already been published, a meeting involving F1 stakeholders and the 10 existing teams is scheduled at the end of January to clarify the remaining details.
“The power unit regulations have been published but they are not finished, now we have to tidy them up,” Symonds said.
“The chassis regulations we’ve been working on for a while, for about a couple of years on some basic layouts, but on 25 January we have a big meeting in Geneva with all the teams, and that’s the first real interaction where we sit down with the teams and outline the plans we want to take into 2026 and start to get their views on that.”
Level playing field
Symonds pointed out that one of the key objectives of the upcoming revision of the power unit regulations is to help level the playing field for newcomers.
“We set a lot of high-level goals with the new regulations and one of them for the ’26 power unit was to level the performance for newcomers,” he said.
“The combustion on a current Formula One engine is very, very different from what I would call conventional. It’s damn near a diesel running on petrol. It’s a very complex combustion.”
“So we wanted to level the playing field a little bit, because convincing people like Audi and Porsche, Cadillac to get into F1 wasn’t easy, and there are others I won’t name that would like to get in and that wouldn’t be a bad thing. It would be nice to have those names in F1.”