The Formula One world enters the third week of its summer break. This week was pretty quiet on the drama side but gave us a glimpse into the future of F1 during the midway point of the summer break. This week saw the release of everyone’s favorite thing to study: rules and regulations. This week we will also look at driver discipline so far this season. Finally, we will examine recent statements from Williams’ Team Principal regarding F2 driver Logan Sargeant.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council Sets Power Unit Regulation for the 2026 Season
On Tuesday this past week, the FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the power unit regulations that will go into effect starting on the 2026 season. The FIA decided to build the regulations on four key pillars: maintaining the spectacle, environmental sustainability, financial sustainability, and attraction for new manufacturers.
Maintaining the spectacle: The FIA will again use a V6 engine to power the 2026 power units. Many fans were hoping for the return of the V8 rumble that was the hallmark of F1 races for many years. Even though this is not the case, the FIA has stated that these power units will perform very similarly to the current engines. This similarity means the power units will be high-revving and high-power.
Environmental sustainability: Since entering the hybrid era, the FIA has maintained its focus on making Formula One as green as possible. They have continued this trend by increasing the amount of electrical deployment by 50%. The new power units will also use 100% sustainable fuel.
Financial sustainability: This pillar aims to ensure each team is on equal footing regarding power unit costs. The FIA contends this balance will not affect the technological innovation at the heart of Formula One.
The attraction of new manufacturers: Currently, there are a limited number of power unit manufacturers: Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, and Honda (Red Bull Powertrains). The FIA hopes that these regulations attract the likes of Porche or Audi.
These regulations for 2026 are sure to bring hardships for the teams that aim to develop the best race car possible to compete in Formula One.
Formula One Drivers being Penalized and Fined
Formula One, similar to any other sports league, has a set of rules and regulations that teams and drivers must follow. Failure to do so results in points penalties and monetary fines. Below are some of the driver discipline highlights from the first half of the season.
The first highlight is that Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel leads the field by being the most fined driver on the grid. He is currently sitting at a total of €35,900 in fines during the first half of this season. The majority of this amount is from a €25,000 fine for certain behavior during a driver's meeting at the Austrian Grand Prix and his legendary scooter ride in Melbourne that cost the driver €5,000. Carlos Sainz sits in second place with €25,000 in fines, followed by Sergio Perez at €10,600 to round out the top three.
Interestingly enough, two of the least fined drivers lead the way for the total number of offenses during the first half of the season. Both Yuki Tsunoda and Alex Albon sit in the bottom three of total fines but are the top two for the number of offenses. They both have eight offenses ranging from speeding in the pit lane to causing collisions.
Is there a Future in Formula One for Logan Sargeant?
Last week I highlighted the designation of Robert Shwartzman for Ferrari's rookie practice sessions. This week another young driver, Logan Sargeant, has made a good impression on Williams' team boss, Jost Capito. Sargeant currently serves as Williams' academy driver as well as a driver for Carlin in Formula 2, and he now stands 3rd in the F2 Driver's Championship.
Capito recently made bold statements about Sargeant's future. “He will be in a Formula 1 car in the future, I'm absolutely convinced,” said Capito. He went on to state that he is impressed with the young driver yet realizes they want to give him time to develop. This plan puts less pressure on Sargeant to compete for a Formula One spot. Currently, Williams has only confirmed current driver Alex Albon for next year's roster.
Another week of summer break means we are another week closer to the Belgian Grand Prix and the second half of the Formula One season. As always, I will update these stories and break others every Sunday until the Belgian Grand Prix on August 28th.
Justin Mader is a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law where he earned a J.D. and a Sports and Entertainment Law Certificate. He can be reached via Twitter: @maderlaw and LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-mader-15a602119/.