The president of the FIA, Jean Todt, has said that he is in favour of the reinstation of the 107% rule. However, he stressed that such a rule change would not take place this year, and would be in place by a minimum of 2011.
This year, the three new teams of Lotus, Virgin and HRT have been well off the pace, HRT dangerously so, and this has prompted many people to ask for the old 107% rule back.
The 107% rule is where each driver muct be within 107% of the fastest lap set by the pole sitter. If they aren’t, they are unable to race. Generally, being within 107% of the fastest time means a few seconds or so behind, as it varies by circuit. While this would be slightly difficult to implement in the current 3-tier qualifying system, it could be done.
Todt is one of the many people in favour of this old rule, saying:
"We are very in favour of reintroducing the 107 percent limit. 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
However, he stated that he was still in favour of having the new teams in F1:
"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. 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."
I would be mostly in favour of this. The one problem is that, by the time the 107% rule is renistated, the teams will have gotten up to speed, and within a few seconds of the leaders, making the rule mostly defunct.