Under the regulations, to qualify for the race drivers must
clock a time within 107 percent of that set by the driver on
However, the sport is coming to terms with a new V6 turbo power
unit with complicated energy recovery systems that have proved
tricky, and time-consuming to work on, in pre-season testing.
Some teams have arrived in Melbourne without having completed a
full race simulation, or even practice starts, with their new
Whiting told reporters at Albert Park that it was unlikely the
107 percent rule would be strictly enforced due to the
"I think the 107 percent rule was introduced to make sure that
teams that weren't capable of producing a good car that was of
the required performance wouldn't actually get into the races,"
"What we have out here at the moment are 11 teams that we know
are capable. They may be suffering a temporary performance loss
but I'm sure the stewards will look very sympathetically on any
team that doesn't make the 107 percent."
He cautioned, however, that stewards may be less lenient on
teams who failed to complete any timed laps in practice or
With only two hours between final practice and qualifying on
Saturday, and an engine change potentially taking hours, Whiting
recognized some teams might sacrifice track time.
"I've heard even teams say that they'd skip P3 (third practice)
to make sure they have a car for qualifying," he said.
"Everyone's got their own way of going about things. Some teams
tell me it'll take them seven hours to change an engine, some
say it'll take three, some an hour-and-a-half."
Whiting emphasized that there would be no leeway on anyone
exceeding the new limit of 100 kilograms of fuel from start to
flag, including formation and slowing down laps.
Should reliability be so bad that there were no cars still
running on track before the scheduled end of the race, the event
would then be red-flagged and the result based on the last
"I think a lot of these Doomsday scenarios are quite unlikely,
knowing Formula One teams and how efficient they actually are,"
"But if it came to the situation where no cars were actually
running, we'd simply stop the race — because there wouldn't be
much of one, would there?"
(Writing by Alan Baldwin in London; editing by Patrick Johnston)
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