F1 technical director Pat Symonds has provided some insight into what the next generation of cars will look like when they hit the World Cup circuits in 2026. He did not disclose any details, of course, but emphasized that the new cars will be much smaller and lighter than the current ones.
Pat Symonds: “We are currently working on the concept of a new generation car, which will come out in 2026, and we already have a pretty clear idea of what it will be.
One of the aspects that now surprises not only many fans, but even experts, is the size and weight of modern cars. In 2022 we tried to shrink the chassis and limit the wheelbase as the cars got longer and longer.
In general, we’ve limited this to some degree, although not as much as I’d like. While we were working on the car for 2026, we decided to go ahead and do everything possible to reduce the size, therefore it will be lighter.
The 2022 car weighs almost 700 kg, which is quite a lot, especially compared to the generation of cars used in Formula 1 when I started in the championship – at that time cars weighed 400, maybe 500 kg. But modern cars are of course incomparably safer.
People think they’re so heavy because they have a lot of electrical systems that Formula 1 has now switched to 18-inch tires, but in fact cars have gotten heavier over the past 20 years, mainly because we’re making them safer and safer.
Yes, hybrid vehicles are inevitably heavier than conventional combustion engine vehicles, and this applies not only to racing cars, but also to regular production cars. It is a fact.
But we have to apply all our technical knowledge – and in Formula 1 they know how to do this – to reduce the weight of the new generation car as much as possible, so that it is as light as possible. I would like it to be smaller, lighter and more manoeuvrable. I think it will be great to drive such cars!”
Source: F1 News