The Formula One Sporting and Technical Regulations are constantly developing to respond to changes in the sport, improve the show and reduce costs. The 2011 season is no exception and there are some significant changes to the sport’s rules for this year. To learn more about the actual effects of the new rules, we spoke to the experts at the team for their view.
Today, we look at the 107% qualifying rule, penalties and team orders:
Any driver who fails to set a lap within 107% of the fastest Q1 time will not be allowed to start the race. However, in exceptional circumstances, which could include a driver setting a suitable time during practice, the stewards may permit the car to start.
The expert view: Andrew Shovlin, Chief Race Engineer
Bringing back the 107% rule should not make too much of a difference to the racing as even the slowest cars of the 2010 season could qualify within that limit. 107% would actually be close to the time that a GP2 car could do. In practice, if a driver is unlucky and a reliability issue or a spin prevent them from setting a time within 107%, they would still be able to start the race providing they could demonstrate that their pace in the practice sessions was within this limit. The intention of the regulation is really to prevent cars that are likely to be lapped four or five times from starting the race.
Stewards can now impose a wider range of penalties for driving and other rule transgressions. The new penalties include: time penalties, exclusion from race results or suspension from subsequent events.
The expert view: James Vowles, Chief Strategist
The role of the team and drivers is to ensure they are performing as close to the limit as possible at all times, whilst always adhering to the FIA regulations and sporting code. The penalties are important as they define the potential loss if a team or driver pushes over these limits. Not every rule infraction is the same or should be treated the same, with some infringements requiring different levels of severity to others. For 2011, the FIA has allowed more scope in the penalties they apply, ensuring that penalties are inline with the infraction drivers or teams have committed.
The clause which bans team orders has been removed from the Sporting Regulations.
The expert view: Ron Meadows, Sporting Director
The article which banned team orders (Article 39.1) has been removed from the Sporting Regulations from this season onwards, however all of the teams will be aware that any actions liable to bring the sport into disrepute are dealt with under Article 151c of the International Sporting Code which could carry a heavier penalty.