FIA Halts 2026 F1 Aero Development

fia stops testing for 2026 cars

The FIA has put the brakes on any aerodynamic testing for the 2026 Formula 1 cars until 2025. This move aims to level the playing field by preventing teams from gaining an early advantage in the next generation of car development.

Between the lines

  • The F1 Commission has agreed to freeze wind tunnel and CFD work related to 2026 car designs until January 1, 2025.
  • Technical regulations for the 2024 and 2025 seasons will remain unchanged to maintain fairness among teams.
  • Teams are still allowed to conduct preliminary R&D within the defined limits, ensuring the integrity of the development process.
  • Other 2024 sporting regulation changes include increased tyre testing days and adjustments to pre-race procedures.

Go deeper
The world of Formula 1 is always racing ahead, but sometimes it’s necessary to pump the brakes to ensure a fair competition. The FIA’s recent decision to put a stop sign on any aerodynamic exploration for the 2026 season is a strategic pit stop in the race of innovation. By freezing the wind tunnel antics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) shenanigans until 2025, the FIA is making sure that when the green light is given, it’s a fair sprint for all teams.

The details are tucked neatly in the sporting regulations, which now explicitly forbid teams from using their 2026 car designs for any aerodynamic testing. It’s like telling a bunch of eager beavers they can’t start building their dam until everyone has the same amount of wood. But fear not, the teams aren’t completely barred from the R&D playground. They can still swing on the preliminary research monkey bars, as long as they don’t slide into the restricted areas.

While the aerodynamic freeze might send a chill down the spine of some engineers, there’s a warm front moving in with the other changes to the 2024 sporting regulations. Pirelli’s tyre testing days have been given a boost from 35 to 40, and teams can now test these rubbery rounds all year long. It’s like getting extra laps at the amusement park—more fun for everyone!

In a bid to cut down on the spray at the F1 water show, the FIA has also penciled in four special days to work on reducing the mist. This comes after a less-than-successful trial at Silverstone, where the only thing that got reduced was visibility. And for those who like a quick start, the FIA has trimmed the standing start notification period and pitlane opening times, making sure the pre-race routine is as slick as a fresh set of tyres.

These tweaks and tunes to the 2024 F1 sporting regulations are the FIA’s way of keeping the race not just fast and thrilling, but also fair and square. It’s all about giving every team a fighting chance to cross the finish line first, without breaking the bank or the rules. So, keep your eyes peeled and your engines ready, because when the 2025 season rolls around, it’s going to be a whole new ball game—or should we say, race track?