F1 News: Adrian Newey Criticizes FIA - 2026 'Heavily Influenced By One Or Two Manufacturers'

Adrian Newey criticized the disproportionate influence of certain manufacturers on the F1 2026 regulations.
Adrian Newey
Adrian Newey / Red Bull Content Pool

Adrian Newey, who is set to leave Red Bull Racing as Chief Technical Officer in early 2025, recently voiced his concerns about the influence of certain manufacturers on the forthcoming 2026 Formula 1 technical regulations. As the sport approaches a significant evolution, his comments bring to light critical discussions surrounding the future of F1's competitive landscape. According to Newey, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has been "heavily influenced" by "one or two manufacturers."

This influence, Newey suggests, could compromise the quality and fairness of the competition, echoing longstanding issues within the motorsport where the interests of big manufacturers sometimes overshadow broader competitive concerns. Despite recognizing efforts like Audi's anticipated 2026 entry as a partial victory for FIA’s strategy, Newey questioned if the overall compromises necessary to attract such manufacturers are justified.

Newey’s critique extends into the technical aspects of the new regulations, particularly the planned 50/50 split between electric power and traditional horsepower. This radical shift towards electric technology presents new challenges, particularly in chassis design, which according to Newey, was not adequately considered. He explained, as quoted by Motorsport Week:

“It’s certainly going to be a strange formula in as much as the engines will be working flat-chat as generators just about the whole time.

“So, the prospect of the engine working hard in the middle of Loews hairpin is going to take some getting used to.

“It is fair to say that the engine regulations were created and pushed through without very much thought to the chassis side of it.

“And that is now creating quite large problems in terms of trying to come up with a solution to work with it.

“But I think the one good thing is that it does promote efficiency.

“And I think anything that does that, and promotes that, has to be in line with what I said earlier: of trying to use F1 to popularise a trend.”

Newey continued:

“The FIA appears to be heavily influenced by one or two manufacturers, in the hope they will appease those manufacturers but also perhaps attract others in.

“I suppose since Audi are coming in for 2026 there has been a partial success in this regard, but I’m not sure it’s worth the overall compromise of what could be achieved.

“The reality is manufacturers come and go, with the exception of Ferrari.

“It’s the teams that are core to the business and then of course the big actual core is the viewing public.

“So it’s essential we provide a good show and as part of that variety is proven to be well rewarded."


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Lydia Mee

LYDIA MEE

Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.