JUNE 19, 2024

2026 regulations actually not radical

Fernando Alonso has thrown a bucket of cold water over the wildest worries about the seemingly radical rules revolution of 2026.

Fernando Alonso, Canadian GP 2024
© Aston Martin Racing

The 42-year-old actually originally quit Formula 1 after the McLaren-Honda debacle, but returned in 2021 with Alpine hoping that the 'ground effect' era beginning in 2022 would give him another chance to win.

I planned to do those two years and see how things went with the 2022 regulations, he told the Spanish sports newspaper Diario AS ahead of his home race this weekend.

I felt very good in 2021 and 2022, so I renewed for 2023. That went exceptionally well and now in 2024 I am still strong and motivated, and I am curious now to test the 2026 cars, Alonso, who now races for Aston Martin, added.

It was not my original idea when I returned to Formula 1, because if I didn't feel 100 percent or so comfortable, Alpine would have been my last team.

Following the recent release of the draft chassis regulations for 2026, there has been great alarm among certain teams and drivers about how the cars - in combination with the greatly increased electrical power of the new power units - may actually spoil rather than improve the racing.

Alonso admits the rules aren't perfect and are excessively technical.

For sure, but it's the nature of F1, he said. "What I would like would be more design freedom, as all cars today are very similar to each other.

"There is little inventiveness, so if you start a regulation (period) the wrong way, you have to drag it to the end. But when I was a kid, F1 cars were very different.

One had a high nose, one had a low nose, another had six wheels. Now that creativity has been lost and I would like to see more of it.

However, he's not quite as alarmed as some other key F1 figures.

Not excessively (alarmed), he told the newspaper. "I don't think it's a radical change.

"It is going to be sold like that, because F1 sells the idea that every four or five years, it totally reinvents itself. But in truth, F1 is always very similar.

"But the new rules attract other manufacturers like Audi, there was also interest from other engine manufacturers and so I see that it was done out of commercial interests.

But I don't think the racing, the weekends or the competitiveness of the cars will be revolutionised, said Alonso.