F1 2026 regulations: Lewis Hamilton issues warning on new cars as drivers express fear over ‘slow’ speeds | F1 News

Lewis Hamilton was one of multiple Formula 1 drivers to express concerns about a possible lack of speed in the sport’s 2026 cars after new regulations were revealed on Thursday.

The sport’s governing body, the FIA, has published regulations that will dictate the design of the next generation of F1 cars, with a focus on downsizing current models to produce closer racing.

The smaller machinery will reduce the weight of F1 cars by 30 kilograms, while incorporating a simplified combustion engine that uses fully sustainable fuels and the introduction of a new acceleration button for overtaking.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton, who is contracted to drive for Ferrari when the new rules are introduced in 2026, said: “It only weighs 30kg so, although it is a step in the right direction, they are still very heavy.”

“I just saw what everyone saw this morning, so I don’t have any great thoughts about it yet.

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Lewis Hamilton believes that the car continues to improve and hopes that Mercedes will begin to close the gap with the teams ahead of it.

“I’ve spoken to some drivers who have driven (the 2026 car) in the simulator and they say it’s quite slow. So we’ll see if it’s really the right direction or not.”

“But I think in terms of sustainability, particularly on the power unit side, I think it’s a really bold step and going in the right direction.

“But we just have to make sure the cars are efficient, fast and a real step forward, and racing will actually improve.”

Albon: I think the cars of 2026 will be extremely slow

With the regulations being released ahead of media day ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, several of the drivers had the opportunity to give their reactions.

Some of the drivers have had the opportunity to drive simulated versions of the 2026 cars, and word of unconvincing performance seems to have spread through the paddock.

Williams driver Alex Albon, who recently signed a long-term contract with the team, was perhaps the most frank of the current drivers in giving his assessment.

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Mercedes’ George Russell gives his thoughts on radical new regulations coming to F1 in 2026

“I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I think it’s going to be very slow, extremely slow,” Albon said. “I guess there’s a lot of things being done to make sure straight line speeds don’t slow down in the end with all the MGU-K and stuff not being involved.

“I still think a little bit of work needs to be done. Looking at some of the work we’ve done and seeing the speed markings around some of the tracks, it’s pretty slow.”

I think the size of the cars is the right direction. Without speaking negatively about it, I think there are positives and negatives to the whole thing. It seems that recovering what the new engine regulations are creating means that everything becomes extremely complicated.

“In the whole aerodynamic path that we are going to follow, I prefer to have a little simpler engines, a little more standardized parts within the engines or whatever, and just go back to a more basic regulation. “

Alonso: Close competition is the most important thing

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, the only driver older than Hamilton on the grid, who has also signed an agreement to continue driving under the new regulations, said the most important factor will be competitiveness.

“I think the smaller cars, just being able to overtake or fight a little bit more, will be the best part for the drivers,” the Spaniard said.

“I think the most important thing for us is that it is a close competition and that many teams and drivers have a chance to win. What we don’t like is when a team wins every race for two or three years, so let’s see if the 2026 rules can achieve that.”

The new regulations have tended to produce a dominant car for a significant period, before rivals start to catch up, as is happening in the current campaign with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finally under pressure from Ferrari and McLaren after two dominant campaigns.

However, keeping the rules the same for longer periods would go against the essence of the sport and the cutting-edge design and technology its engineers create.

“Most of the time when they (the FIA) make changes, some teams do it better than others,” Hamilton added.

“Hopefully these regulations won’t make a big difference.”

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri echoed fears that the peloton could be stretched again with a rule change.

“Every time the regulations have changed, there has been a pretty big differential,” said the Australian.

“With these rules we are just beginning to catch up with Red Bull.

“But we have a place in society to be at the forefront of technology and innovation and I guess you could argue that sometimes that comes at a cost to racing.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the teams became more separated in 2026 with the aerodynamic and engine rules.”

Canadian GP schedule live from Sky Sports F1

Friday June 7
6:00 pm: practice one of the Canadian GP (The session begins at 6:30 p.m.)
8:00 p.m.: The F1 show
9:45 p.m.: practice two of the Canadian GP (the session starts at 10pm)

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A look back at some of the most dramatic moments of the Canadian Grand Prix

Saturday June 8
17.15: Third practice of the Canadian GP (the session starts at 5:30 p.m.)
8:00 p.m.: preparation for the Canadian GP classification
9:00 p.m.: Canadian GP Classification
11:00 p.m.: Ted’s classification notebook

Sunday June 9
5:30 p.m.: Sunday Grand Prix: preparation for the Canadian GP
9:00 p.m.: Checkered flag – Reaction to the Canadian GP
10:00 p.m.: Ted’s Notebook

Formula 1 leaves Europe for the last time before the summer break as the championship moves to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. Watch every session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s race at 7pm Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month membership – no contract, cancel at any moment

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