The FIA govern world motorsports across a number of continents and for decades has had rules over drivers wearing agreed safety overalls and underwear and not wearing jewellery for safety reasons.
The arrival of the new FIA president has decided to crack down on F1 drivers wearing lucky charms together with ear and nose rings. Their position is simply, ‘where is the line?’
If they allow a nose ring, why not allow another driver a lucky charm from his dead uncle. This issue has been portrayed in the media as being anti Hamilton given his love for Bling.
Prior to this weekend, the FIA issued a reminder to the teams that scrutineering – the checks made of the car and driver for legitimacy – will strictly enforce the jewellery and unauthorised fireproof underwear.
Amusingly, Lewis Hamilton turned up to the drivers’ press conference with by his own admission as much jewellery as he could fit on his body. It included 3 necklaces, 3 watches, rings on every finger and some. It was clearly a protest over the FIA’s scrutineering directive.
“I couldn’t get any more jewellery on today!” Hamilton laughed.
When asked by the FOM presenter why he had so many watches, Lewis quipped “I’m on three time zones”.
He then claimed his nose ring can only be surgically removed and when pressed on whether he would comply with the FIA regulations he replied, “If they stop me, then so be it. We’ve got a spare driver so we’re all ready and prepped for the weekend. There’s lots to do in the city anyway! It’ll be good either way.”
For perspective, this is not an FIA attack on Hamilton as when Formula E raced in Monaco, Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Evans were each handed a penalty point when they were found to have been wearing chains during the race.
However, whether the FIA would merely issue a penalty point given their strengthened view regarding compliance of this matter is up for debate.
Even if they issued merely a point per race, by Singapore Hamilton would receive a 1 race ban under totting up principles. More likely, penalties would increase incrementally each time the driver defied the FIA regulations.
Lewis Hamilton knows his profile is significantly higher than either Wehrlein or Evans and is prepared to take on the FIA to see how far they are prepared to police this matter.