Alexander Rossi has been given dispensation to start tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix despite failing to post a time within the 107% cut-off required to qualify for a Formula 1 race.
In order to prevent underprepared drivers from racing, the FIA revived the 107% rule back in 2011 that requires anyone wishing to race to lap within 107% of the quickest time in Q1.
The rule has only been used sparingly since its inception (HRT in 2011 and 2012), with the majority of those falling outside the 107% time being allowed to race after displaying enough pace throughout the earlier stages of the weekend.
In Rossi’s case, this has proven to be true once again as the American’s practice pace was deemed to be sufficient by the stewards at Suzuka.
“The Stewards have received a request from Manor Marussia F1 Team to allow car 53 [Rossi] to start the race despite failing to set a qualifying time within 107% of the fastest time in Q1,” a statement from the stewards read.
“In accordance with Article 36.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, the Stewards grant permission for car 53 Alexander Rossi to start the race, as the driver has set satisfactory times in practice at this event.”
Rossi was unable to post a time within the 107% cut off after having both of his flying laps ruined by yellow flag periods, limiting him to a best time of 1:47.114 – over six seconds slower than that of teammate Will Stevens.
“To have a yellow flag on both my push laps is just the worst luck,” Rossi said. “I’ve never had a situation like that, so I was pretty shocked and disappointed by what happened today.
“Obviously I’ve been well within 107% during the weekend and I know the procedures, but even so, it’s not a great feeling.
“There hasn’t been much dry running so far, so we haven’t had the best preparation for a dry race, but I’m enjoying the track and I know there’s a lot more to come.”