The arrival of the engine freeze period forced Formula 1 drivers to take risks with the development of power units. As a result, reliability has been greatly reduced and the FIA has decided to act.
It usually happens: when something goes out of the plan foreseen in the Formula 1 the teams try to convince the FIA to act with corrective measures. And it has happened again, this time with the regulations that regulate the use of engines during competition.
And it is that, as a result of the introduction of a freezing period of the engines that will last until the end of 2025, when the current regulatory cycle will end, the motorcyclists decided to take the development of the engines to the extreme, knowing that later they would not be able to recover the lost ground.
Neither Audi nor Porsche will officially confirm their strategy until the 2026 regulation is approved
In addition, they knew that the regulation allows modifications justified by reliability issues, so in a way it was like jumping into the void with a safety net. But a side effect of this approach has been that more engines are breaking down this year, with teams like Alpine and Ferrari already penalized for exceeding the component limit with just nine Grands Prix contested.
The FIA acts
This has led the teams to ask the FIA to relax the rules relating to engines a bit, a request that has been met.
Thus, starting this weekend at Silverstone, the federation body will allow teams to replace parts of the power unit used in qualifying by newer ones during the closed park period.
Until now, doing this meant starting from the pit lane for Sunday’s race. It will now be allowed and will not affect grid position. In addition, the FIA may authorize temporary repairs in power units.
The new regulation is delayed
In addition, the FIA has officially announced that the new regulations will not be approved until the next meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), something that in turn postpones the confirmation of the arrival of two new brands in Formula 1: Porsche and Audi.
The two firms belonging to the Volkswagen Group have confirmed their intention to enter Formula 1, but they will not officially confirm their strategy until the 2026 regulations are approved.
This is because the key to its interest in the category lies in the implementation of a simpler and cheaper engine than the current one, although this will continue to be a Hybrid V6 and will incorporate 100% sustainable fuel.
In any case, this confirmation will end up taking place and will result in the association between Red Bull and Porsche, as well as that of Audi with Sauber (current Alfa Romeo team).