[Update: After meeting with the Stewards, Deledda has been given permission to start Race 1 and Race 3 at the back of the grid after any other penalties have been applied.]
It’s always said that qualifying in Monaco is super important – regardless of what category you’re in. With it being such a narrow street circuit, overtaking is challenging and can often be quite processional as a result. However, that won’t matter for one F2 driver who was so slow around the Monte Carlo circuit he hasn’t actually qualified for the races.
That’s right. Alessio Deledda managed to be so off the pace during his Monaco qualifying efforts he hasn’t actually qualified. With a time of 1:27.744, Deledda was +0.6s over the 107% cut off time of 1:27.10.
What is the 107% rule?
Essentially, this rule is in place to stop cars and drivers that are too slow from competing. The time, which varies from race to race, is 107% of the fastest time in the first session in quali. This would be Q1 for F1, for example.
As F2 qualifying is different, with the grid being split into a Group A and Group B, the 107% time was calculated by Theo Pourchair’s stunning qualifying pole position time – a 1:20.985.
— WTF1 (@wtf1official) May 20, 2021
To give some context, Deledda set a time of 1:27.744. This means he was 6.3 seconds off the time of pole position—a rather embarrassing result for the HWA RACELAB driver.
Usually, the Stewards can give an exception to a driver if they qualify outside the 107%, perhaps if they’ve been caught out by a dramatic weather change or had to slow down to avoid an accident. They would look at the pace in earlier practice sessions and see that it was an anomaly. However, for Deledda, this wasn’t a one-off. He was 7.3s off the pace in practice earlier in the day.
— Laura Leslie (@LauraLeslieF1) May 20, 2021
This DNQ is the first for an F2 driver since 2009, when the series was known as GP2.