107% Rule

107% Rule Luca Badoer

The 107% Rule is a guideline for sports that affects Formula One racing. When the circuit is dry during the first phase of the qualifying, no driver can start the course without consent from the runners who are disqualified during the first qualification session and fail to establish a lap within 107% of that session’s speed. For instance, if Q1 is 60 seconds fastest, each driver removed from the session must complete 64.2 seconds at least one lap for the start of the race. For the 1996 season, the 107 percent law was adopted and remained in effect until 2002. It has been reintroduced with slight changes for the 2011 season.

Explanation

The 107% Rule is a way of ensuring that entrants into a competition are quick enough to compete and do not put faster cars in danger. It was first implemented in 1996 and operation until 2002. The law has since been reintroduced for 2011.

The current 107% Rule is relatively simple. A car must spend less than 107 percent of the fastest time during the first qualifying session. For instance, if the quickest car in Q1 were 100 seconds away, all other vehicles would have to be higher than 100 seven seconds. Cars who do not achieve this level will call stewards if they can demonstrate, in timed practice, that the car was quick enough and that problems such as temperature, mechanical issues, or an injury caused Q1 to occur. But if a vehicle has been continuously slow all weekend and has not been able to post quickly enough, the race cannot start.

History

Thus at the 1996 Australian Grand Prix, the 107% rule was adopted. It was automatically violated, though Forti riders Luca Badoer and Andrea Montermini could not lap 107% of the pole position time for Jacques Villeneuve. The team used an updated version of the Forti FG01 Chassis from the last year and only qualified 34 times on only 107% of the pole position. The two drivers did not qualify for the fourth round of the championship, the European Grand Prix.

In the following race, for the first time, the Grand Prix San Marino, Badoer drove the more aggressive FG03 chassis when Montermini did not achieve the 107 percent cut in the older car. The two Grand Prix races were then not qualified for two later. The British Grand Prix ran out of money after the tenth round of the championship and made a token effort at qualification despite not attending the previous Free Training sessions; either the car could not limit its time.

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