Leading car maker criticises F1’s ‘not really a new technology’ engine plan

Michelle Foster
BMW logo on plain background.

The logo of German car manufacturer, BMW.

Formula 1’s plans to move towards an increase in electrical power in 2026 in a 50/50 split has been downplayed by BMW motorsport boss Andreas Roos as being “not really a new technology”.

Formula 1 will introduce new engine regulations in 2026 as the sport adopts engines run on fully sustainable fuel.

But arguably the biggest change will be the increased reliance on battery power, with there being a rough 50/50 split between electrical and internal combustion engine power.

BMW boss: ‘Formula 1 is not for us on the radar’

It’s enticed Audi to join the Formula 1 party with Honda re-signing as an engine supplier while Cadillac are looking to enter the fray in 2028.

One leading manufacturer that won’t be following suit is BMW.

The German manufacturer, who left Formula 1 after the 2009 season when they sold Sauber back to team founder Peter Sauber, have not been swayed by the move to using more electrical power.

“For sure, Formula 1 is always interesting, but for us as a brand at the moment, it’s not on the radar, or it’s not in the right window, let’s say, for us where we would say we want to participate,” Roos told Speedcafe.

“At the moment, the plan in Formula 1 is to come in 2026 with a combustion engine with a hybrid system, which you seen on the road cars in several years.

“So it’s not really a new technology or something where we think this is very interesting.”

Ross admitted there is no technology-forward thinking on F1’s horizon that would persuade BMW to change their mind about returning to the grid.

In a rather cutting remark, he added: “Formula 1 is a purely technology-driven formula, and there, for us, it has to be clearly something where we say ‘oh yeah, that’s something where we see ourselves, where we see the technology going, and where it’s very interesting for us to develop the technology’.

“And this we don’t see at the moment and this is why, at the moment, Formula 1 is not for us on the radar.”

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BMW will instead continue to focus on the World Endurance Championship in hypercars, where they already run a hybrid with sustainable fuel, and the GT3 classes.

“When we are honest, I mean, the hybrid cars we run already in the World Endurance Championship, also with sustainable fuel,” Roos explained.

“I mean, the fuel we run in the WEC championship is also 100 per cent sustainable, and I think 60 per cent Co2 neutral with the focus to go even more.

“If this is what Formula 1 brings in 2026, we basically run already in the WEC championship in terms of technology.”

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