FIA finally approves 2026 F1 power unit regulations

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Formula 1's next-generation power unit regulations coming for 2026 have finally been approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

As expected, the sport is keeping the current 1.6-litre V6 engine that was introduced in 2014, albeit with more standard parts and a greater development focus on combustion.

But a major overhaul is coming to the Energy Recovery System with the MGU-H dropped and the MGU-K motor made much more powerful and efficient.

The new motor will generate a massive 350kw compared to just 120kw currently, accounting for almost half of the total performance from the power unit, which will still exceed the magic 1000 horsepower mark.

Another significant change is F1 switching to 100% sustainable fuels created from various sources including non-food-bio-derived, genuine municipal waste or from carbon capture.

This will mean no new carbon emissions will be generated by the cars on track, while the fuel flow rate will be measured by energy rather than mass or volume as it is currently.

A lower fuel flow rate means fuel usage during a race will be reduced from the current 100-110kg to between 70-80kg, or half the amount required during the V8 era.

Permitted power units will also be reduced with just three V6 ICE's, turbochargers and exhaust systems plus two energy stores and MGU-Ks allowed before penalty.

In the first year of the new rules in 2026, however, four and three of the respective elements will be permitted.

A new budget cap for engine manufacturers will also be implemented with a figure of $95m between 2023-25 and $130m from 2026.

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Confirmation of the regulations is expected to give the green light for Porsche to announce their tie-up with Red Bull very soon, while Audi is also set to enter, potentially taking over the Sauber team.

"The FIA continues to push forward on innovation and sustainability - across our entire motor sport portfolio - the 2026 Formula 1 Power Unit Regulations are the most high-profile example of that mission.

"The introduction of advanced PU technology along with synthetic sustainable fuels aligns with our objective of delivering benefits for road car users and meeting our objective of net zero carbon by 2030," FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said.

"Formula 1 is currently enjoying immense growth and we are confident these Regulations will build on the excitement our 2022 changes have produced.

"I want to thank all of the FIA management and technical staff involved in this process for their diligence and commitment in working together with all of our Formula 1 stakeholders to deliver this.

"I also want to thank our WMSC members for their consideration and approval of these regulations."