F1 is looking at the next generation of turbo-hybrids currently in use, with the new F1 powertrain regulation being voted on by the FIA Motorsport World Council last month.
The key to the 2026 F1 powertrain rules are introducing cost caps and simplifying hybrid elements to reduce barriers to entry for future manufacturers.
Audi has already announced plans to enter F1, while Porsche is eager to get back on the grid. The possibility of a partnership with Red Bull has disappeared in recent weeks.
The new F1 powertrain regulations aim to provide a clean slate to level the playing field for both new and existing manufacturers.
For F1 powertrains to be homologated in 2026, manufacturers must comply with the regulations even before then.
However, the technical changes to the internal combustion engine specifications have backtracked from initial plans, leaving concerns that historical manufacturers might retain their dominance.
But that’s not the case, according to Hywel Thomas, head of Mercedes-AMG’s high-performance powertrains.
“There is a non-competitive part of the internal combustion engine when it comes to carryover,” explains Hywel-Thomas.
“The regulations in that area are quite strict in terms of size, technology of the materials that can be used and are very much in line with what we are currently running.”
“There is a lot of carryover in those areas of technology, but it’s not really a carryover because the components are very close to current regulations, but they are not exactly the same.”
“Combustion engines are divided into competitive and non-competitive halves. Non-competitive halves are very similar, but not fully reported.”