Lewis Hamilton’s response to FIA’s huge new rules for F1 speaks volumes

On Thursday, the FIA released sketches of the anticipated design of Formula 1 cars for 2026 along with a number of rule modifications that will impact the machines’ appearance.

Lewis Hamilton is concerned that when new design regulations are implemented, Formula 1 cars will be “pretty slow.”

Starting in 2026, new design guidelines will affect how cars function and appear. On Thursday, the FIA unveiled the first pictures of the new machines and confirmed many of the changes being made to the rulebook.

Notably, a power boost option for drivers is replacing the current Drag Reduction System (DRS), which functions as a “push to pass” mechanism. They will be able to move faster thanks to the system, which the FIA hopes will encourage more overtaking.

In response to numerous complaints regarding the weight and size of the current generation of racing cars, the cars are also expected to be shorter, narrower, and lighter. However, Hamilton’s response to the news was lackluster.

When asked what he thought of the proposed changes, the seven-time Formula One champion said: “They’re still heavy, but they’re only 30 kg lighter, so it’s a step in the right direction.” We’ll see if this is the right course of action after talking to some drivers who have driven it on the simulator—I haven’t. They said it’s fairly slow.

“But that’s a really bold step and it’s going in the right direction in terms of sustainability, especially on the power-unit side.” All we need to do is make sure the cars are effective, quick, a step forward, and that racing is enhanced.”

Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s former Mercedes teammate, had mostly positive things to say about the new rules. However, he is equally concerned about the cars’ performance because they will be powered by new engines that use sustainable fuels and a 50/50 internal combustion and electrical power split.

A new regulatory era is always exciting and presents opportunities for different teams, according to the Finn. It’s good to observe a shift. The slightly smaller cars are a nice feature. It’s obviously a baby step. However, I believe it’s going in the right way. The weight is the same. It’s an excellent one.

“I can’t really comment on that because I haven’t tried the new power unit settings in the simulator yet. However, I believe that’s a good thing if it means having more overall control and a little more flexibility with how energy is used for race tactics. Thus, as of right now, nothing raises my alarm.

“I would say that the downforce level and overall performance are the only things that worry me. I’ve heard some rumors that there will be a significant decrease in grip overall, but I’m not sure how much, and I believe we’ll find out.”

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