The deadline set by the FIA to resolve the row over drivers wearing jewellery in their Formula One cars is set for this weekend at the British GP. The regulations have been in place for over a decade but have never been highlighted before. However, Lewis Hamilton’s bling has attracted the attention of new FIA president who believes the rules now need to be enforced.
Hamilton claims his nose stud and another piercing in “an unmentionable place” cannot be removed without minor surgery – something he has refused to countenance. Yet this could see him excluded from the British GP in front of over 140,000 ‘home’ supporters.
The FIA originally intended to enforce the rule at the inaugural 2022 Miami GP but Lewis was given concessions and two race weekends to have his jewellery removed. He gained another concession in Monaco that allows his jewellery until Friday practice begins at the British GP.
Speaking atet eh Azerbaijan GP Lewis said, “Honestly, I feel like there’s just way too much time and energy being given to this.”
“The rule came in in 2005. I think we’ve all worn jewellery throughout our careers in Formula One. It’s not been a problem in the past and there’s no reason for it to necessarily be a problem now.
“It definitely is positive that we’re working with the FIA and I think they’re accommodating a little bit at the moment. But we shouldn’t have to keep on revisiting this thing every weekend. We’ve definitely got bigger fish to fry.”
So if Hamilton retains his stud on Friday the drivers and their cars submit to the FIA officials for scutineering. If Hamilton is deemed to be in breach of there regulations, the stewards should refuse to allow him to compete under ‘safety grounds’.
That said, the penalty could be merely a fine and a reprimand. Yet even a reprimand each race he breaches the rules would eventually result in a one race ban.
The new FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem who succeeded Jean Todt last December has indicated he is keen to enforce the jewellery ban and sources report there is a growing feeling that Hamilton should not be granted any further exemptions.
Lewis Hamilton is due to appear at the F1 drivers’ press conference this afternoon and the issue is surely one that will be raised there.