The next generation of Formula 1 power unit will have to run on 100% sustainable fuel, place a bigger focus on electrical power and will not feature an MGU-H.
Manufacturers and the FIA have been working together on proposals for the new power units — to be introduced in 2026 — for a number of years. The Volkswagen Group has had a presence at more recent meetings, and the latest gathering of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris saw a framework delivered for the 2026 regulations.
The current 1.6-liter V6 engine will be retained but the complex MGU-H will be dropped, with additional power coming from an increased electrical output to 350kW. All of this will be developed under a power unit cost cap that follows F1’s first cost cap that has been agreed by the teams.
With the proposals approved to push ahead further with, the WMSC also outlined a number of key objectives for the new power unit regulations, including:
• A powerful environmental message: 100% sustainable fuel, overall efficiency, and shift of focus to electrical power
• Significant cost reduction: technical, operational and financial regulations
• Newcomers: make it possible for them to join the sport at a competitive level
• Protect the show: powerful and high-revving power unit, car performance, sound, drivers’ ability to race, avoiding excessive differentiation
The announcement comes just as Honda leaves the sport, with Red Bull Powertrains taking over the Japanese manufacturer’s IP from 2022 onwards as the current regulations are set to be frozen ahead of the 2026 changes.