Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1 needs to go further to reduce the weight of cars despite the planned cut for 2026 announced yesterday.

The FIA revealed the first details of the new regulations for 2026 including a reduction in the minimum weight from 798 kilograms to 768.

“It’s only 30 kilos, so it’s going in the right direction, but it’s still heavy,” said Hamilton. The next generation of cars will be heavier than those raced in 2021.

The FIA expects teams will be able to achieve the reduction in weight partly through a reduction in the maximum dimensions of the cars. The 2026 cars will be shorter and narrower than the current machines.

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However the cars will also generate significantly less downforce than before, leaving Hamilton concerned lap times will rise. “I’ve spoken to some drivers who have driven it on the simulator – I haven’t – but they said it’s pretty slow. So we will see whether it’s actually the right direction or not.”

However he believes F1 is heading in the right directed by making the electrical component of the hybrid engines more powerful and introducing sustainable fuel.

“In terms of sustainability, particularly on the power unit side, I think that’s a really bold step and I think it’s going in the right direction,” he said. “We’ve just got to make sure the cars are efficient, fast, and a natural step forward, and actually racing is improved.”

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Hamilton’s team mate George Russell said yesterday the new cars are likely to be quicker on the straights but slower in the corners. Nico Hulkenberg has the same impression.

Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024
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“It’s certainly quite different,” said the Haas driver. “Some interesting areas and aspects. I think some that still need a bit further work.

“Like Lewis said, I think the weight reduction is good, but then 30 kilos is… not the world. It looks like a lot less downforce, especially high-speed corners. It will be quite a different scenario and characteristic to now.

“So there is going to be definitely a drastic change and change… you’re not always so open to it. But we’ll see what happens between now and, in the one-and-a-half years [before they arrive], if there might be some small adjustments or not with what’s going on.”

Yuki Tsunoda is encouraged by what he’s seen of the car but concerned overtaking may become more difficult as cars will no longer have DRS.

“It looks nice,” he told the official F1 channel, “30 [kilos] lighter and narrower which allows us to hopefully overtake more in the corners rather than the straight.

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“But I think removing the DRS, that’ll be interesting. Especially as it’s hard to imagine with the current car that, removing DRS, we’ll be able to overtake. But hopefully the simulation is going well and looking forward to seeing that.”

The FIA has announced plans for a ‘Manual Override Mode’ which will replicate the effect of DRS by allowing chasing drivers to gain a power boost.

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