THE SPORT SCAN – The International Federation has asked the Briton to remove his many jewels when he pilots. The world champion is currently standing up to the authorities.
“If they stop me, let them do it”: seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton assured Friday that he would not remove his jewels as the International Automobile Federation (FIA) asked the pilots, even if it meant missing the disputed Miami Grand Prix this week-end.
“We have reserve drivers so we are ready and prepared for the weekend. There’s a lot to do in this town so I’ll be fine either way“, quipped the Briton at a press conference, clad in his rings, necklaces, earring, nose piercing, and no less than three watches around his wrists, aligned with different time zones.
If the ban on wearing jewelry on board single-seaters was introduced in 2005 as a security measure, it has never really been applied by the pilots.
But this season new FIA race director Niels Wittich decided to tighten the screw to enforce it. A first reminder in this sense was made during the Australian GP in early April, the third round of the season.
“The wearing of jewelery in the form of piercings or metal chains around the neck is prohibited during the competition and can therefore be checked before the start.“, he recalled on the sidelines of the Miami GP.
Wearing jewelry during competition can impede medical interventions
And to justify:Wearing jewelry during competition can hinder medical interventions as well as subsequent diagnosis and treatment if needed following an accident“.
“We have made such progress as a sport (…) I have been playing this sport for sixteen years. I’ve been wearing jewelry for sixteen years“, regretted the Mercedes driver, who assures that”in the car, i only have my earrings and my nose piercing, which i can’t even take off“.
If the measure does not delight Hamilton, who also says he is ready to sign a discharge to continue to be able to wear his jewels, he nevertheless judges “no need to get into a quarrel“.
“I will try to communicate and work with Mohammed (Ben Sulayem, the president of the FIA, editor’s note), I am here to be an ally of sport, of Mohammed and of F1 and I think we have other cats to whip — things to do, and an impact to have, so that’s where we need to focus“, he continued.
According to the specialized site Motorsport.com, the driver agreed for this weekend to remove all the jewelry he could remove – and received an exemption until the Monaco GP at the end of May to comply with the regulations.
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