Max Verstappen predicts one team could secure ‘big advantage’ in F1 2026

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen

Red Bull's Max Verstappen

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has suggested we could see another era of dominance if one team nails the F1 2026 regulations before the rest do.

The fine details of the regulation changes coming in F1 2026 were revealed last week and while many have suggested problems with it, Verstappen said he was “in the middle” – but he did suggest it could lead to more dominant seasons.

Max Verstappen warns of F1 2026 dominance

It is undeniable that Red Bull were the big winners of the current regulation set, overtaking Ferrari early in F1 2022 before being the dominant force up until very recently.

While F1 2024 looks their toughest fight yet in terms of the Constructors’ title, Verstappem has been looking forward and suggested F1 2026 was just as likely to produce a dominant team.

“I’m quite in the middle,” he told the media of the new regulations. “New rules are new rules.

“I do think that it’s a bit of a consequence of the engine as well. They say it’s 50-50 with the engine and battery, but it’s not really like that. So that’s why we need the active aero on the straight to reduce the drag to make it all more sustainable to do a proper lap otherwise, you run out of battery, which I think was a problem that they found out.

“But besides that, I think the only thing is because the longer you keep the regulations the same, the closer it gets between the teams. So ’26 will probably be quite a big reset not only from the car performance side but also from the engine side.

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“People can hit the regulations well and have a big advantage on the engine. It’s just something that we don’t know at the moment but some people will probably feel more confident about that than others.”

Despite this point, Verstapepn recognised the rule changes were made to entice new manufacturers and said he could be positively surprised once he drives the real thing and not a simulation.

“F1 wanted to attract new manufacturers as well and you need a real change for that to happen,” the 26-year-old said.

“We’ll see. Maybe I am very positively surprised when I jump in the real car and I’m like: ‘Oh, this is amazing.’

“But at the moment, I’m in the middle, we drive what we get. I’ve seen a lot of simulations. It’s not like suddenly [the regulations] came out now and now we start developing.

“It’s something that it’s been around and fine tuned, of course.

“And I have to say, from the first time that I saw it to the latest updates that I’ve seen, I think they made really good progress with how the engine is working with the chassis.”

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