FIA President believes new F1 engine rules encourage newcomers

Mohammed Ben Sulayem with George Russell. Picture: Mohammed Ben Sulayem Twitter

FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has taken to social media to voice his support of new Formula 1 power unit regulations set to be voted on next week.

After a number of delays in finalising the framework, it was this week confirmed that it would finally be put in front of the World Motor Sport Council for final approval.

However, there are concerns that the new rules have been watered down such that it leaves existing manufacturers with a distinct advantage over newcomers.

A first order consideration during discussions over the 2026 framework was easing the path into Formula 1 for new manufacturers.

That saw the removal of the costly and complicated MGU-H system, with a number of other changes designed to even the playing field and lower the barrier to entry.

However, many of those are understood to have been walked back, with claims the existing power unit suppliers will be able to carry over much of the bottom end of the internal combustion engine.

With a cost cap set to be introduced on power unit development, that could offer a distinct advantage to those already in the sport.

Taking to social media, Ben Sulayem expressed an opposing opinion.

“Over the last 18 months FIA officials have worked hard with all stakeholders to create exciting new F1 PU regulations that the WMSC are now considering,” he wrote.

“I’m proud of their efforts which allows for new entrants and even more competition.”

Porsche and Audi are both waiting in the wings, ready to join if they find the new regulations palatable.

The power unit rules are not the only change set to be voted through by the WMSC, with revised changes for 2023 aimed at reducing or eliminating porpoising.

Originally, the proposal was to raise the floor edge by 25mm, though that has been reduced to 15mm.

The WMSC vote is expected next week.

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