Rethinking F1’s 2026 Active Aero Strategy Due to Concerning Simulator Discoveries

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Rethinking F1's 2026 Active Aero Strategy Due to Concerning Simulator Discoveries
Grand prix

To make the new turbo hybrid engines work well, Formula 1 cars will have moveable aero parts. These parts will adjust during the race. When cars are in corners, they will have more grip. On straight sections, they will have less drag to go faster.

At first, F1 considered only making the rear wing moveable. This seemed simple and could work with the current DRS system. However, when teams tested this idea on simulators, they found some big problems.

With the rear wing set for less drag and the engine running full power, drivers struggled to control the cars. Some even spun out on straight tracks or had trouble with small turns. The aero balance was way off, making the cars hard to handle.

Rethinking F1's 2026 Active Aero Strategy Due to Concerning Simulator Discoveries
Red Bull Content Pool (Credits: RB)

FIA officials visited teams to understand what was happening. They learned that the original plan of only moving the rear wing wouldn’t work. So, they decided both the front and rear wings needed to move together.

By making both wings adjust at the same time, they hope to fix the balance issues. This change is part of the 2026 aero plan.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is glad the FIA listened to teams’ concerns. He thinks the changes are good progress. He’s waiting for the final rules, especially for how the chassis works with the new power units.

The rules will be the same for all teams. Horner isn’t worried about them. He knows teams will adapt to whatever rules are in place, just like they always do.

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