Whiting hints at relaxed 107 per cent rule
13 March 2014 – FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting expects the 107 per cent qualifying rule to be relaxed this season.
As per Formula 1's current regulations, drivers who fail to record a qualifying time within 107 per cent of the pole-sitter are not automatically cleared to race, with special permission required from the race stewards.
Drivers can be given the green light if they have shown sufficient pace in previous sessions, but Whiting has suggested that stewards could be even more lenient this year given the technical regulation overhaul.
"I think the 107 per cent rule was introduced to make sure that teams that weren't capable of producing a good car that was of the required performance wouldn't actually get into the races," Whiting commented.
"What we have are 11 teams that we know are capable. They may be suffering a temporary performance loss but I'm sure the stewards will look very sympathetically on any team that doesn't make the 107 per cent."
Whiting went on to clarify: "There is a mechanism in the rules to allow that to be done in exceptional circumstances. It doesn't always have to be because a driver set a suitable time in a previous session."
Whiting added, however, that the stewards will review cases individually, with no guarantees over permitting drivers to race if they miss out on the 107 per cent time and fail to display performance in previous sessions.