Formula 1 fans will be happy to hear Stefano Domenicali agrees the sport needs to improve the sound of the engines, the F1 chief promising “great sound” when the new generation of PUs hit the track in 2026.
Formula 1 has already signed off on the new regulations for the 2026 power units, the sport’s bosses agreeing to move onto fully sustainable fuels and three times the electrical power with a 50/50 split between battery and engine power.
Dropping the MGU-H and introducing standard parts, the cost of the engines will also come down, enticing the likes of Audi and Ford to sign up for Formula 1 while Honda also recommitted to the sport.
Stefano Domenicali: 99.9% of people want to hear a F1 sound on track again
But the one thing missing in all of that, noise.
Formula 1 fans have long objected to the sound, or lack thereof, created by the current generation of V6 turbocharged engines. That’s something Domenicali says the sport’s powers-that-think will be looking into.
“If we can be effective in the study and production of sustainable fuel, we will be able to think about the next generation of power units, focusing on lightness,” he told Motorsport.com.
“We want a competitive engine, with many horsepower and also with a great sound. 99.9% of people want to hear a Formula 1 sound on track again, and that’s something we’ve put on the table.
“Today we are in a transition phase, where large manufacturers need to develop hybrid and electric technologies since they are part of their sales portfolio. But I believe if we do a good job with sustainable fuels, we will be able to have simplified engines in a few years with a lower impact on weight. It’s something we’ll soon start thinking about.”
But while Formula 1 has agreed the 2026 engine regulations, the chassis rules are still up for debate with drivers calling for lighter cars.
Weighing in on that, Domenicali said: “It is a very important issue. Over the years the weight of the cars has increased, and obviously no one questions what has been done on the safety front.
“But there has also been the development of new technologies and the subsequent adoption of batteries, an aspect that has led to an impact on the weight front.
“As Formula 1, we have to ask ourselves what we can accelerate in terms of development, and here the issue of sustainable fuels is fundamental. The perception and the market on this front are changing, and I think a very good choice was made when we first decided to take this path.
“We do not want to make technological wars against full electric mobility, as it is a technology that will have its own market.
“But we believe that Formula 1 can accelerate the possibility of having sustainable fuel at the right price, and this will be a great help for mobility in the absolute sense, including commercial vehicles, aviation, and the one that includes cars circulating in the world, which are about a billion and a half.
“It’s a very important challenge for Formula 1, and I’m sure it will also help to bring together the vision of all the teams.”