Lewis Hamilton claims F1 2026 regs weight saving falls short with cars looking ‘pretty slow’

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in a press conference ahead of the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton

Feeling the F1 2026 challengers will still be on the “heavy” side, Lewis Hamilton set out his wishlist for the FIA, having heard from some drivers that the cars are looking “pretty slow”.

On the eve of the Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA unveiled the hotly-anticipated new regulations which will come into effect as of the F1 2026 campaign.

Lewis Hamilton wants fast, efficient cars for good F1 racing

A standout feature of these new challengers, as the FIA works to its ‘nimble car’ concept, was the reveal that 30 kilograms will be trimmed from their weight, though that number was not getting Hamilton too excited.

Hamilton has not tested the F1 2026 car in the simulator, but said other drivers who have spoke of them being “quite slow”, so while Hamilton praised the work on the power units – which will feature an even split of electrical power and an internal combustion engine using sustainable fuels – he stressed that the regulations must deliver on the racing side too.

Speaking to media in a press conference ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, he said: “I mean, it’s only 30 kilos, so it’s going in the right direction, but it’s still heavy.

“I’ve spoken to some drivers who have driven it on the simulator. I haven’t, but they said it’s pretty slow. So we will see whether it’s actually the right direction or not.

“But I think in terms of sustainability, particularly on the power unit side, I think that’s a really bold step and I think it’s going in the right direction.

“We’ve just got to make sure that cars are efficient, fast and an actual step forwards and actually racing is improved.”

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Press conference host Tom Clarkson then presented the topic to Nico Hulkenberg, who he had heard was part of a recent meeting on the F1 2026 rules. He will be at the wheel for Audi as the German brand starts its Formula 1 venture at the point of this new era.

Like Hamilton, he played down the significance of the weight loss, while confirming that a marked reduction in downforce will make for “quite a different scenario and characteristics” compared to the current Formula 1.

“Yeah, it’s certainly quite different,” he confirmed, “some interesting areas and aspects. I think some that still need a bit of further work.

“Like Lewis said, I think the weight reduction is good, but then 30 kilos is also not the world.

“It looks like a lot less downforce, especially high-speed corners. It will be quite a different scenario and characteristics to now.

“There’s going to be definitely a drastic change and change is always, you know, you’re not always so open to it, but we’ll see what happens between now and in the one-and-a-half years, if there might be some small adjustments or not.”

The World Motor Sport Council are set to ratify the F1 2026 regulations on June 28.

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