F1 2026 – Pat Symonds explains the revolution designed for single seats – 2022

F1 cars have changed markedly this year, but the changes may become even more radical in 2026. The next generation of cars is set to become smaller, with active aerodynamics for less air resistance, reduced fuel tanks and communication systems. From car to car to prevent accidents.
Following the F1 commission’s meeting on Monday, the FIA ​​declared its broad targets for regulatory changes to take effect in 2026, including reduced strength, reduced mass and use of sustainable materials.
F1 technical director Pat Symonds explained the ideas he believes could be pursued to achieve this, while pointing out that this was not necessarily discussed at Monday’s meeting.
It’s about active aerodynamics – absolutely“Symonds said when asked how to achieve the goal of reducing air resistance and being more fuel efficient.

You can not just reduce the air resistance to reduce fuel consumption, because the car does not turn. So it’s about active aerodynamics by having two modes for the car effectively. So unlike DRS, there is a state where the car has high downforce and thus high traction in turns, and a state where it has low traction when it is on straight ahead and thus low downforce. This is a simplistic view, and there are variations, but this is basically the real basis for what active aerodynamics is all about for the F1 of the future.“.

Symonds focused on an area that has experienced increasing criticism from both fans and drivers in recent years, and which F1 and the FIA ​​are seeking to change.

One of the things we want to do is make the cars a little smaller because they have grown tremendously over the last few years. We put a limit on the wheelbase of the 2022 cars, which in my opinion was generous. My 2014 Williams was actually shorter than required by the current rules so it can be done even if it requires a little thought. Our goal is to make a fairly significant reduction in wheelbase by 2026“.

Mercedes 2022

The FIA ​​also aims to reduce the weight of the cars in an effort to make them more efficient and exciting to watch. Symonds then highlighted an approach that could reduce the size of 2026 cars, linked to the engines and the aerodynamic package.
The fuel requirement for the barrel will be lower, so this also helps by taking some volume out of the fuel tank. The level of hybridization is increasing – the power of the internal combustion engine decreases and the power of electric cars increases, so less fuel is used. Most significant, however, is the reduction in air resistance, because that is where most of the power goes, that is, pulling cars through the air. There will be a reasonable reduction in fuel consumption during the race – my estimate at the moment is 20 percent, maybe even 25 percent, less than what we currently use. […] We want the weight to drop, but we are still far from reaching that goal. However, we must absolutely make sure that it does not grow“.

The former technical chief of Williams, Renault and Benetton then highlighted F1’s desire to start recycling materials in an effort to become more environmentally friendly and sustainable, instead of focusing on introducing more sustainable materials for the first car building.

Cars are built this way because it is the best way to do it. There are some materials that we really need to think a lot about recycling because of the difficulty of obtaining them and the surrounding conditions such as nickel and cobalt. In the field of batteries, we believe that there is growing concern. It’s okay for people to say, ‘When the batteries come out of a road vehicle, they can be recycled,’ but that only applies to a certain point. We believe it is really important that recycling is an important part of the entire electrical system for the next generation of cars, so we are going to do a lot of work in that area.“.

Finally, Symonds also unveiled the new technology that the FIA ​​is studying to add car crash prevention systems:

One of the areas we are looking at is car-to-car communication. A car can know if there is a car in front of it that is driving slowly. Secondary safety is about absorbing energy that needs length and distance to deform, so it’s quite complicated“.

Original article on Motorsportmagazine.com

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