Formula 1 cars for 2026 presented, Lewis Hamilton & Co. react: Extremely slow!

On the Thursday before the Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA ​​presented the rules and car for the 2026 season. There was talk of a new era, the modern premier class and a ‘moderate revolution’. Formula 1 cars are to be narrower and lighter again in the future. In addition, a new overtaking mode will replace the DRS. In terms of aerodynamics, a distinction is made between Y-mode and Z-mode. Sounds exciting or even confusing? Christian breaks down all the details for you: This is what the car of the future will look like.

Not only F1 fans, but also many F1 drivers were confronted with the new rules for the first time on Thursday. In Montreal, the drivers are reacting to the 2026 car. With hope, skepticism and terrible fears.

Lewis Hamilton: 2026 cars still heavy

“It’s only 30 kilograms less,” recalls Lewis Hamilton. “It’s going in the right direction, but it’s still heavy. I’ve spoken to some drivers who have driven the 2026 car in the simulator. They said it’s quite slow. So we’ll see if it’s actually the right direction or not.”

Max Verstappen and Christian Horner have already sharply criticized the plan for the 2026 engines, with a focus on electric power. Hamilton sees things differently. “In terms of sustainability, especially with regard to the power unit, this is a really bold step,” says the Briton. But: “We just have to make sure that the cars are efficient and fast and represent a natural step forward. In addition, racing should actually improve.”

Alex Albon: Field is being torn apart!

Alex Albon also expects the car to be slow, but he has another fear. “I don’t want to judge too quickly, but I think it will be very slow, extremely slow,” says the Williams driver. “Some work will still be needed. The cars will be lighter, but I don’t know exactly where this weight loss will come from. It will be the team’s responsibility to try to reduce this weight. But given the size of the cars, I think it’s going in the right direction.”

When it comes to the power unit and aerodynamics, he criticizes: “Everything is getting extremely complicated.” He also sees a greater gap between the teams again due to the new generation of vehicles. “I think you will clearly see that the gaps between the teams are getting much bigger,” says Albon. “We are all getting closer at the moment. In terms of pace, the cars are very close to each other. The 2026 rules will definitely tear the field apart again.”

Ultimately, however, the Thai-Briton is diplomatic: “I’m not speaking negatively about the new rules, I just think that the whole thing has positive and negative aspects.”

Fernando Alonso hopes for closer competition in 2026

Thinks completely differently Fernando Alonso, who sees the 2026 car as an opportunity to improve racing in the premier class. “From a driver’s perspective, we just want close competition, multiple race winners, opportunities for everyone. We don’t want a three or four-year dominance in which only one team can win,” the F1 veteran sums it up. “Hopefully 2026 can help with that, because that’s the only thing Formula 1 is missing. The rest is great.”

F1 rules 2026 revealed: This is what the future of Formula 1 looks like! (16:24 min.)

However, Alonso shares Albon’s opinion on the high level of complexity: “The new rules look complicated. Ultimately, it is the fans who have to give their opinion on them. I think for us it is just additional buttons on the steering wheel that we have to press.”

Daniel Ricciardo: 2026 or 2016?

For Daniel Ricciardo, the showcase images of the 2026 car remind him of the rosy past. “I love the 2016 cars, which were definitely narrower and lighter,” enthuses the Australian. “It won’t be that extreme, but it’s at least a step in the right direction. I think they’ve recognized what the drivers want.”

Ricciardo is not worried about boost, Y and Z mode for the time being. “Time will tell what all this brings,” said the Racing Bulls driver. “I think it’s one of those things where I have faith in Formula 1. There are enough smart people who will get it under control. Even if it might not be ideal or perfect at the beginning.”

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