While awaiting the debut of the next Formula 1 car, which needs to redeem the disappointing 2023 season both in terms of performance and results, Ferrari has already shifted its focus significantly towards the new regulatory era. This era will radically change the structure of the current Power Units, with a substantial increase in electric power and the elimination of the MGU-H, a fundamental element since the introduction of the hybrid era in 2014.
Ferrari’s 2026 Power Unit is already on the test bench
According to the latest report from motorsport, the group led by Enrico Gualtieri, Head of Power Unit Area since 2019, has successfully completed the initial experimentation phase. The baton will now pass to Wolff Zimmermann, the project head for the 2026 Power Unit.
The German engineer boasts extensive experience with engines and hybrids, having played a massive role in reviving the fortunes of the prancing horse after the disastrous 2014, the debut year for the new turbo-hybrid Power Units. He also contributed to the creation of the well-known “superfast” engine, mounted on last year’s F1-75 and the recently retired SF23.
In addition to a significant split between electric and endothermic power, and the elimination of the MGU-H, the 2026 engines will be fueled for the first time by entirely zero-emission fuels (e-fuels). With collaboration from AVL, a research center in Graz, Ferrari seems to be well-positioned.
Of course, the engine is just one part of what we will see on the next-generation race cars, pending the FIA’s resolution on chassis and aerodynamics.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection! Click here to enter the F1 online Store and shop securely! And also get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
Regarding aerodynamics, it’s worth noting that, unlike the current practice, teams won’t be allowed to conduct aerodynamic tests, both through CFD and wind tunnels, before January 1, 2025. This decision aims to prevent a team (in this case, Red Bull) from abandoning development early to focus well in advance on 2026.
Finally, as suggested by the Motorsport website, the Maranello team has tested only one of the already developed engine versions, hinting at additional tests in different configurations.
Considering the current dominance of the Milton Keynes-based team, it’s highly probable that Max Verstappen will have a relatively easy time in 2024 and 2025. Therefore, for Ferrari, it is imperative not to falter on the 2026 project and try to beat others in terms of timing.