Ecclestone backs return of qualifying rule

Bernie Ecclestone is supportive of the FIA's efforts to reinstate a 107 per cent qualifying rule in Formula One. FIA president Jean Todt this weekend indicated he will push for the rule, with cars failing to get within 107 per cent of the pole...

Bernie Ecclestone is supportive of the FIA's efforts to reinstate a 107 per cent qualifying rule in Formula One.

FIA president Jean Todt this weekend indicated he will push for the rule, with cars failing to get within 107 per cent of the pole time excluded from the race, to be applied in 2010.

But an immediate rule change would require the near-impossible feat of an unanimous team vote.

Introduction in 2011 requires just a 70 per cent majority.

"We will reintroduce the rule," F1 chief executive Ecclestone is quoted as saying by France's Auto Hebdo. "Not this year, next year."

Interestingly, the Auto Hebdo report indicated that Ecclestone wants the 107 per cent rule tightened to 105 per cent for 2011.

107 per cent of Sebastian Vettel's Bahrain pole is about 8 seconds, meaning that neither HRT driver would have qualified for the season opener.

At 105 per cent, all of F1's three new teams would have struggled to qualify.

But McLaren team boss and FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh told Finland's Turun Sanomat he is not surprised the new teams are so far off the pace.

"If the new teams were very close it would mean the rest of us had done a poor job," he said.

On Sunday, Ecclestone also indicated that a 20-race calendar including India is likely in 2011.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel , Jean Todt , Bernie Ecclestone , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams McLaren