FIA considers re-instituting 107% qualification threshold to keep out the riffraff

If you've been following this year's Formula One World Championship and wonder how the backmarkers – mostly the new teams that joined the grid for 2010 – have been allowed to compete given their lagging performance, know that the FIA is on top of things.

According to emerging reports from the F1 paddock, FIA president Jean Todt is considering re-instituting a threshold in qualifying for each grand prix. Known colloquially as the 107% Rule, the measure demands that, in order for any driver to qualify for a grand prix, his or her qualification time has to be within 107% of the time set by the polesitter. The rule was last enforced in 2002, after which it was taken off the books. But in Todt's eyes, it's about time to bring it back.

Since implementing the regulation mid-season would require unanimous approval of all the teams – including those newcomers who'd be most effected by it – the FIA president (and former Ferrari chief) is looking towards bringing it back for next season, which would only require ratification by 70% of the teams. The sport's commercial director Bernie Ecclestone reportedly supports the idea, but recommends changing the threshold to 105%. For his part, Todt says the measure is not intended to hurt the new teams, but rather force them to get with the program if they wish to compete and not merely fill the grid.

[Source: ESPN | Image: Fred DuFour/AFP/Getty]

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