Formula 1 drivers show concern over new regulations

MONTREAL.- McLaren driver Lando Norris believes that the Formula 1 is finally having close battles on the track, but fears that could change with new technical regulations for single-seaters coming into force in 2026.

“With the last regulation change we made, last year was the most exciting year between the first and last teams,†Norris said over the weekend during the Canadian Grand Prix. “Now, just when it starts to get exciting, there will be another change.†.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull He won the Montreal race, his sixth win in nine races this season and appears on track to win his fourth consecutive title. The 26-year-old Dutchman has 50 victories in his last 75 races in F1.

Still, some drivers believe there is more competition after three drivers came out on top in Montreal.

Last weekend, F1 outlined a series of proposed modifications for 2026 in order to have more “agile, competitive, safe and sustainable” cars. F1 cited increased use of battery power, a lighter chassis and improvements to aerodynamics, as well as the first engine change since 2014.

Technical developments usually usher in an era of dominance for some teams that get the engineering right, while others take time to catch up. During 2021, Verstappen and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes battled for the championship until the final race in one of the most exciting seasons in history.

But new regulations that began to apply the following year led to Red Bull winning 39 of 44 races between 2022 and 2023.

Latent danger:

The International Automobile Federation introduced a cost cap in 2021 to avoid disparity between teams. But after they unveiled the new plans, Verstappen and Hamilton said they were worried the disparity would widen.

“The longer you leave regulations, the gap between teams closes,†Verstappen said.

The Dutchman maintains a 56-point lead in the drivers' standings heading into the Spanish Grand Prix on June 23. Still, four drivers have won a race out of nine this year, more than in the entire previous season.