The 2026 F1 engine will use 100% sustainable fuel, increased electric power
The next generation of Formula 1 power units will have to run on 100% sustainable fuel, put more emphasis on electric power and will not feature MGU-H.
Manufacturers and the FIA have been working together on proposals for the new power units – which will be introduced in 2026 – for several years. The Volkswagen Group has been present at more recent meetings, and the latest World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris saw a framework delivered for the 2026 regulations.
The current 1.6-liter V6 engine will be retained, but the MGU-H complex will be dropped, with additional power coming from increased electric power to 350 kW. All of this will be developed under a power unit cost cap that follows F1’s first cost cap that was agreed by the teams.
With the approved proposals moving forward, the WMSC has also set out a number of key objectives for the new powertrain regulations, including:
• A powerful environmental message: 100% sustainable fuel, overall efficiency and refocusing on electrical energy
• Significant cost reduction: technical, operational and financial regulations
• Newcomers: allow them to join the sport at a competitive level
• Protect the show: powerful, high-revving power unit, car performance, sound, drivers ability to race, avoiding excessive differentiation
The announcement comes just as Honda is exiting the sport, with Red Bull Powertrains taking control of the Japanese manufacturer’s intellectual property from 2022, with current regulations set to be frozen ahead of 2026 changes.