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F1 set to introduce key rule change that Lewis Hamilton called for months ago

F1 set to introduce key rule change that Lewis Hamilton called for months ago

F1 are set to implement a rule change.

Formula 1 chiefs are set to introduce a major rule change that Lewis Hamilton has already called for, it has been reported.

The rule change relates to the 2026 season, which will see significant changes to the power units that each car uses.

As well as new carbon-free fuel, there will be increased electric power and reduced fuel consumption, with each driver's use of the energy recovery system (ERS) more important in terms of where they deploy additional energy.

But to reduce the energy required, cars need to become both smaller and lighter, and air resistance will also be decreased.

That will have a knock-on effect on downforce - which is where car designers and engineers come in.

With such a drastic change in the regulations, it will be a development battle between the teams to create the fastest and most efficient car by the time the field lines up for the first race of the 2026 season.

At this year's Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton argued for a strict start date on the development of cars ahead of the new season. This would effectively stop the fastest team from having a 'head start', given their dominance on the track and thus prevent their ability to start development earlier than other teams without sacrificing their on-track position.

He said (quotes via Autosport): "It's not aimed at any one particular person or anything. It's just obviously in my 17 years of being here, even before I got here, you see a period of time of dominance. And it continues to happen.

"If everyone had a time for example, if everyone knew when we can really start, whatever date it is - October is way too late probably, but August 1, something like that - then no-one has a head start, and then it's a real race in that short space of time for the future car."

Now, ahead of the 2026 season, F1 are closing in on introducing strong limits on when teams can develop their cars.

That's according to German publication AMuS, who say that team technical directors have spoken about how the aerodynamic developments for 2026, both in the wind tunnel and CFD simulations, cannot start before January 2025.

It is claimed that the majority of technical directors are in favour of the rule change, which still needs to be confirmed before being approved by the F1 Commission and FIA World Council - something which is said to be a 'formality'.

In the short-term, F1 travels to the United States for this weekend's United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas - the second US-based Grand Prix out of three in the 2023 season.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes