Todt in favour of 107 per cent rule

FIA president Jean Todt says he is in favour of reintroducing the 107 per cent rule for Formula 1 qualifying

Todt in favour of 107 per cent rule

But the Frenchman admits it is very unlikely to happen this year, and believes the rules will probably make a return in 2011.

Until 2002, any driver whose fastest lap was outside 107 percent of the pole position time was not allowed to take part in the race except under extraordinary circumstances.

"We are very in favour of reintroducing the 107 percent limit," Todt told a news conference in Bahrain on Friday. "The reason why it was abandoned was because of the change in qualifying which was happening with fuel to start the race in the car.

"Now to change that for 2010 you need to have the unanimous agreement of the teams, and to get the unanimous agreement of the teams the FIA will be supporting this solution.

"I don't think it will happen so we have to wait until 2011 to introduce it."

Todt's comments come amid some concerns about the pace of the new teams racing this year.

HRT's Bruno Senna finished over 11 seconds off the pace in today's practice, where his team's car took to the track for the first time.

Heikki Kovalainen was the quickest of the newcomers in the Lotus, the Finn finishing 5.4 seconds off the pace set by Nico Rosberg in second practice.

Despite his desire to reintroduce the 107 percent rule, Todt made it clear that he was in favour of the new teams, and that they should be supported.

"You must have respect for a new team who is arriving in this particular economic crisis period and to invest money to be in F1," added Todt. "I don't think it is a time to criticise but to support and help, and to help them, and it is in the interests of everybody.

"Everybody in the business should be supportive of these days. I was impressed today, they did quite well and we must give them a certain time to be ready."

He added that he was disappointed that US F1 - the third new team to receive a 2010 entry in the original tender process last May - had failed to make the grid, but said he understood the team's founders had done all they could.

"The non-appearance of US F1 is definitely a disappointment," said Todt. "My colleague Nick Craw will not contradict that because he was very close to this team and we were probably hoping that the US F1 team would be at the start. It was possible.

"Yesterday during the WMSC I asked to review the situation and that started with the introduction of a disciplinary panel which was yesterday voted at the WMSC. So I reported to the WMSC and now Graham Stoker now, as president of the sport group, will have to report to the competent people, and we will see what happens.

"When I said it was very disappointing, because I know that they tried hard. They made a lot of effort, as you will know Charlie Whiting went there. He saw some possibilities, he saw some cars under construction but unfortunately it was not enough to have two cars at the start of the first grand prix."

Zoran Stefanovic's Stefan GP team had hoped to step into US F1's vacant slot, having acquired assets from Toyota's abandoned F1 programme, but Todt insisted the only fair option was to re-open the tender process for 2011 rather than handing the place to Stefan.

"Stefan Grand Prix was part of the tender process. It did not get an entry and I understand that during the last months they changed their way of thinking getting into F1," Todt said.

"They got involved with Toyota but we asked to follow the proper process and if you want to be involved when you have a free position in the F1 championship then you have to make a tender.

"That is what we are going to do in the coming days. We will open the 13th position and we will probably make the 14th position reserve, as well, available and it is a process that will start in the coming days.

"And then when we will take the results of who will be included in the 2011 championship then if [Stefan] are in this process then they will be considered, as will the other teams involved in this process."

shares
comments
Bahrain Friday quotes: Virgin

Previous article

Bahrain Friday quotes: Virgin

Next article

'No hurry' to appoint F1 commissioner

'No hurry' to appoint F1 commissioner
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021