Abstract Lifetimes of the high spin states of 179Re have been measured by the recoil distance technique. The high spin states in 179Re were populated by the fusion evaporation reaction 165 Ho( 18 O, 4 n) 179Re at a beam energy of 82 MeV. The deformation obtained from these measurements for the h 9 2 configuration ( β 2 ∼ 0.25) is found to be ∼ 14% higher than the deformation for the d 5 2 configuration ( β 2 ∼ 0.22). This higher deformation for the h 9 2 configuration compared to the d 5 2 configuration, confirms its deformation driving nature. Calculations using the cranked Hartree - Fock - Bogoliubov are done for the two configurations and they provide a qualitative description of the experimental observations.