Lewis Hamilton performs jewellery u-turn and bows to pressure from F1 chiefs

Offbeat news from the world of sport

The FIA appears to have won the jewellery battle with Lewis Hamilton as the Mercedes driver has agreed to adhere to the regulations ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.

Seven-time world champion sent a clear message of defiance towards the Formula One chiefs in Friday's press conference having attended wearing three watches, numerous necklaces, rings on every finger and earrings as he spoke out about the strict rules.

The ban on drivers wearing jewellery in the cockpit has been in place for a number of years but has not been policed strictly, though that is changing under new race director Niels Wittich and FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem.

Asked ahead of first practice, where he finished eighth, if he would be prepared to sit out of the Miami Grand Prix and said: “If they stop me then so be it. We’ve got a spare driver, so we’re well prepped for the weekend. There’s lots to do in the city anyway.”

However, less than three hours later, Hamilton has performed a u-turn and will adhere to the regulations for the weekend, having agreed to take out his earrings, while the FIA has granted him a two-race exemption for his nose stud, which cannot be easily removed.

Removing piercings is something that Hamilton had said earlier was not easy to do, referencing his nose stud and another piercing in another location he didn't reveal, saying: “As I said, I can’t remove at least two of the piercings. One I can’t really explain where it is. But it is platinum, so it’s not magnetic. It’s never been a safety issue in the past. I am willing to sign a waiver to take the responsibility away from the FIA if I need to. It is about individuality and being who you are."

The first evidence of the FIA's strict application of the rules regarding jewellery was shown in last weekend's Formula E event in Monaco, where Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Evans were handed a suspended 1,000 Euros (£855) fine and a point on their licences for wearing necklaces in the cockpit.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Are the FIA right to strictly implement the rules around jewellery? Comment below.

On Thursday evening, the FIA sent a message around to teams explaining their stance which read: "The wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start. Metallic objects, such as jewellery, in contact with the skin can reduce heat transmission protection and thus may increase the risk of burn injuries in the event of a fire.

“The wearing of jewellery during the competition can hinder both medical interventions as well as subsequent diagnosis and treatment should it be required following an accident. The presence of jewellery can slow the emergency removal of driver safety equipment such as helmet, balaclava, and overalls.

“Jewellery in and/or around the airway can pose specific additional risks should it become dislodged during an accident and either ingested or inhaled.”

  • Formula One
  • F1
  • Lewis Hamilton

Source: Read Full Article