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HomeMotorsportsFormula 1 rules 2026: New "overtaking function" for 355 km/h

Formula 1 rules 2026: New “overtaking function” for 355 km/h

The latest update to the technical regulations for the 2026 Formula 1 season now includes a kind of “push-to-pass” function through the drive

Formula 1 is introducing a kind of “push-to-pass” system for the 2026 season. This is the result of the latest update to the Technical Regulations, which was published on March 29, 2024. It mentions an “override mode” for the first time

The term appears in section 5.4 of the regulations. Under the heading “Energy flow in the drivetrain”, various specifications are initially made, followed by the almost completely rewritten Article 5.4.8 with information on the new override function.

The first section of this article regulates the energy output of the hybrid system for the range up to 345 km/h, while the second section mentions the “override mode” and its “additional boost” up to 355 km/h.

This is presumably a driver-activated system, such as that used in the IndyCar series as “push-to-pass”: At the push of a button, the driver in the US formula series has more power available for a short time, which can be used for overtaking, but also for defending.

KERS 2.0 in Formula 1

This is reminiscent of the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) from the Formula 1 period from 2009 to 2013: drivers could use it to call up additional energy to attack, defend or improve their lap time. It could be similar with the “override mode” from 2026.

Another parallel is that “override mode” will probably not be available all the time, but the drivers will have to schedule this overtaking function. This is because the Formula 1 regulations for 2026 place much more emphasis on energy management over a lap and over the race distance.

In other words, those who use the “override mode” and therefore consume more energy may have an energy deficit elsewhere. Details on this will be explained in a future update of the Sporting Regulations for 2026

More focus on the hybrid system in the 2026 drive

The world governing body recently confirmed the new technical specifications for the Formula 1 powertrains of the future. According to this, the 1.6-liter V6 turbo engine will provide around 540 hp in the future, which corresponds to a reduction from around 550 to 400 kW. In return, the hybrid components will be upgraded from 150 to 350 kW, delivering around 475 hp.

Alongside the changes to the powertrain regulations, new chassis rules are being introduced in Formula 1: the race cars will not only be around 40 to 50 kilograms lighter for the 2026 season, but also shorter. The wheelbase will probably be reduced from the current maximum of 3.6 meters to 3.4 meters.

One thing is already clear: the cars will be narrower, from the current 2.0 meters to 1.9 meters.

Formula 1 is also planning to introduce movable aerodynamic elements on the cars to reduce drag on the straights.

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