Behind the scenes stories from Bahrain

Formula One is back with a vengeance and whilst the sight of Fernando Alonso going toe to toe and beating the likes of George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz lit the bonfires of every F1 fan, unfortunately, a number of back story issues are bubbling away and set to return to the headlines.

TJ13 has learned that Aston Martin are deploying non-team personnel on race team projects in an effort to avoid breaching the budget cap.



Behind the scenes Jewellery gate returns

There is good news for now for those who felt the FIA’s 2022 war on jewellery was ‘much ado about nothing.’ Whilst the matter returned at the beginning of the Bahrain GP weekend, it was brief and the stewards appear to have accepted Mercedes explanation and declared the car and driver legal.

At last year’s Singapore GP Lewis Hamilton avoided a penalty for wearing his nose stud during qualifying after producing a medical exemption letter – although his Mercedes team were fined as they submitted a scrutineering form saying he wasn’t wearing any jewellery.



Mercedes fined in Singapore

Hamilton, who finished a season’s best third in qualifying at Marina Bay, had previously removed jewellery when driving after a long-standing rule that it could not be worn during track sessions was clarified in Miami.

However, he was wearing his nose stud in Singapore, which triggered a visit to the stewards.

Lewis Hamilton received a medical exemption last year regarding his nose stud, and on Friday morning Mercedes did not confirm during self-policing that Hamilton complied with the requirement not to wear any jewelry.



Hamilton’s team failed self certification

However, it soon emerged that Mercedes had submitted a self-scrutineering form declaring “that the driver complied with the requirement not to wear jewellery in the form of body piercing”.

The stewards noted this was incorrect.

“The Team Manager explained that the team was unaware that Hamilton had a piercing,” read the stewards’ reasoning. “In recent events Hamilton had removed the piercing prior to the competition.

“The team assumed, without enquiring of Hamilton, that he had followed or would follow the same procedure for this event.



Stewards accept Hamilton submission

“The Stewards accept that the error in the declaration in this case was not intentional or deliberate but it would not have occurred had the team made an enquiry of Hamilton before completing and submitting the declaration.

“Given these circumstances, we fine the team €25,000.”

This procedure was required by Mercedes prior to cars on track at each Friday first practice session. However, the team appear to have a different strategy for 2023 and the matter may be put to bed once and for all.



Bahrain FIA stewards accept “disfigurement” excuse

Following a request from the Mercedes team, the Bahrain FIA stewards consulted the Medical Delegate following a hearing in which Mercedes team manager Ron Meadows and a team doctor appeared.

The stewards opted to take no further action. They cited “concerns about disfigurement with frequent attempts at removal of the device,” allowing Hamilton to compete with the stud.

Whilst this appears a ridiculous defence given many people wearing studs remove them at will, maybe the matter is settled once and for all.

READ MORE: Albon “buzzing” over Williams progress

2 responses to “Behind the scenes stories from Bahrain

  1. Hamilton… rules for thee but not for me.

    Regardless of if you think the rules are stupid and pointless. They are there so there will not be a “what about this” for jewelry that is a safety hazard. If you have ever pulled someone out of a wreck or have ever been somewhere that’s on fire: all of this makes perfect sense.

    And for anyone who says “it’s his life, he can weigh the risks..”

    the answer is “no it is not. Most countries have laws about motorsports where the team principle, designer and rescue staff get charged with crimes and need to defend themselves in criminal court”

    A famous case was Sennas death and the Italian courts.

    So when he wears a chain that locks him in a burning car, or a piercing that gets stuck on his helmet causing his neck to press on the spinal chord…

    It will be a criminal case against others.

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