Max Verstappen highlighted concerns that the championship may change to a “ICE competition” in 2026 with power units being the deciding factor, but F1 teams have played down those concerns.
The Dutchman recently issued a warning, expressing his belief that the new restrictions would lead to that situation, stressing that there would be a “massive development war” between the firms.
The two teams that will theoretically still have a say in what PU they use in 2026, McLaren and Williams, contradict that assertion. Both teams say they are certain that current supplier Mercedes will have a potent package and that the chassis will still be crucial.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said;“We’ve got a great partnership with Mercedes, so pretty hard to imagine them not getting it right, regardless of wherever the final rules shake out. And it’s always a combination, isn’t it, of driver, chassis and power unit to put out a competitive car. So I don’t think that’ll be any different, whether that was this regulation or next regulation or the regulation after that.”
As his old club Mercedes did when the current rules were implemented, Williams team principal James Vowles acknowledged that one supplier might receive an advantage, but he claimed that it will quickly even out.
In my opinion, every modification to the power unit regulations can either benefit or disadvantage you. Mercedes is one example of how well it handled the 2013–2014 reforms.
There were likely power unit suppliers who were slightly above in the years prior to that, but things did settle out rather fast afterward, well into a consistent formula.
Mercedes and I have a wonderful working relationship that dates back many years, and they have a big presence in the sport. According to my perspective, whoever you choose to side with will help you form an alliance, and soon after that, I believe things will settle down to a fairly reasonable position.
And it would be incorrect to claim that the chassis still doesn’t have a significant impact on it since I still believe that the regulations have a lot of room for improvement, as they stand right now.
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