F1 team bosses believe customer teams could be ‘severely affected’ in 2026

F1 team bosses believe customer teams could be ‘severely affected’ in 2026

Formula 1 team bosses say customer teams could be adversely affected by the start of new engine rules in 2026.

Publishing a statement ahead of the Monaco GP, Honda announced that it will return to the sport in 2026, when new engine regulations come into force, and will be Aston Martin’s engine partner.

Honda is one of six manufacturers to sign up for the new engine era, leaving just four customer teams on the grid; McLaren, Williams, Haas and AlphaTauri.

Red Bull’s second team, AlphaTauri, benefits from the Austrian team’s engine department, while Haas works closely with Ferrari.

McLaren are known to be looking at their options for a long time but it is entirely possible that they will stick with Mercedes. Williams is still undecided about his future.

The new team leader, Vowles, He thinks integrating the new power units into the chassis in the first year of the new engine era is “likely to be a challenge” and says customer teams could be adversely affected.

“We need to prepare for 2026 first, which may be very difficult, but the real training will start shortly after that,” Vowles said.

“I think what Aston has shown us is that you can continue with what you have, even if you choose your own path.”

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Photo: Mark Sutton / Sports Pictures

“But the closer you are to your engine manufacturer, the more you can customize the rear of the car to your liking.”

“So you can decide for yourself the compromise between aerodynamic cooling, performance and power. We are a Mercedes customer team and that complicates the situation.”

“At the same time, there are very good regulations that mean that the electrical unit we are given is the same unit as the others. This was not the case many years ago.”

“So I believe that at least the power it generates is good.” say.

Next year, AlphaTauri team leader Laurent Mekies says the 2026 customer plan will be more valuable than it is now.

“It goes without saying the amount of synergy between the chassis and the power unit side, of course that will always be an advantage,” Mekies said.

“Still, some people prove that it is possible to do very good work without this kind of plan, so I don’t think it will be more important in the future than it is today.

“I think the level of complexity of power units is very high today. We are taking regulatory measures to reduce that complexity and hopefully this will bring the grid closer together.” say.