Pat Symonds has played down fears Formula 1 is getting too slow with all-new engine regulations voted for 2026.
Currently, only 163hp of electric power is available to teams – but from 2026 the aim is to triple that with 475hp generated on the hybrid side.
On paper, it’s quite possible, but a source is already warning.
« Generating that instantaneous power is not a problem. Maintaining it lap after lap will be much more difficult in terms of energy recovery. F1 cars will be snails, just like with the first hybrid engines in 2014. Drivers will have to Cut the throttle midway down the straight to regenerate needed energy, » already fears this anonymous engine engineer who confides in Auto Motor und Sport.
Symonds, who is Formula 1’s technical director, said those fears were « completely unfounded ».
« We don’t expect losses on a qualifying lap, that’s one thing. In the race, lap times will certainly increase a bit at the start but everyone will find the solution. F1 must remain a technical laboratory and it’s a challenge that engine manufacturers have accepted because it directly serves the automotive industry. »
For the moment, only Audi has confirmed its arrival in 2026, things are getting darker on the side of Porsche, which wants a very solid partner to enter this new era. Without an agreement with Red Bull, the project seems to be in question as other manufacturers such as Hyundai and Ford have inquired with the FIA for a potential entry from 2027.