Monday, 28 March 2011

107% Qualifying Rule

The reintroduction of the 107 per cent qualifying rule created it's first victims in the first race of the 2011 season.

Neither Hispania managed to reach the required time in the first session of qualifying, and were therefore not eligible to take part in the race on Sunday.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in Q1 of 1:25.296, the Hispania cars therefore needed a lap time below 1:31.267 in order to qualify. This was always going to be a big ask for a team who had not tested their car at all pre-season - the first time the cars were driven was during the practice sessions for the first Grand Prix.

Vitantonio Liuzzi's best time was just over a second outside of this margin, with Narain Karthikeyan finishing approximately 1.3 seconds further back.

The question is, how often will the cars manage to qualify, especially without being able to use the race days as valuable testing mileage?
Also, although the other 'new' teams (Team Lotus and Marussia Virgin) were able to qualify on this occassion, how confident should they be of repeating this achievement in future races?

We have therefore compiled a list of how the three new teams would have fared if the 107% rule would have applied in 2010, based on 2010 qualifying times. (Driver '1' being the highest qualifier in each race):

The good news for Team Lotus is that both of their cars qualified within 107% of the fastest time at every race last year.

There are exceptions to the rule, for example during changeable weather conditions, or if a driver has proven previously that they are quick enough (for example in Free Practice), the FIA may allow them to participate in the race.

For more information on this rule, visit

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