Lewis Hamilton ready to skip Miami GP if F1 bans jewellery
Lewis Hamilton has branded the FIA’s new rule banning drivers from wearing jewellery in the vehicle “a step backwards” and “very silly”.
Before Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix, race director Niels Wittich reminded drivers that the FIA’s International Sporting Code prohibits drivers from wearing jewellery in the vehicle.
In Miami, the FIA banned jewellery and emphasised which apparel drivers must wear below their overalls for safety reasons.
“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, due to the risk of “snagging”, the emergency removal of driver safety equipment such as helmet, balaclava, and overalls.”
“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.” it said.
Hamilton wore six necklaces, rings on every finger, and three watches, each set to a different time zone, for his Friday morning press conference.
“I couldn’t get any more jewellery on today,” he laughed.
Hamilton has two difficult-to-remove piercings.
“I have platinum, so it’s not magnetic.” It’s never been a problem before.
“In 16 years, I’ve had so many MRI scans and not had to take out the platinum because it’s not been an easy.”
“If they stop me, so be it,” he added.
“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.”
Hamilton said he was unable to reach FIA president Mohammed bin Sulayem on Thursday but expects to discuss the problem before of Sunday’s race.
“I feel like it’s almost like a step backwards, if you think about the steps we are taking as a sport, and the more important causes that we need to be focused on,” he continued.
“I think we’ve made really great strides as a sport. This is such a small thing.
“I’ve been in the sport for 16 years and I’ve been wearing jewellery for 16 years. In the car I only ever have my earrings on and my nose ring, of which I can’t even remove. It seems unnecessary for us to get into this spat.”
A support group of four drivers sat with Hamilton during the press conference.
Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri declared he would not race without a religious sign.
“I do understand [Hamilton’s comments]. I do believe there are bigger things to focus on.
“I have a religious item that I wear with me when I’m racing which is important to me. I don’t feel comfortable not having that in the car. I do feel like its personal, we should have the freedom to do what we feel is right for us.
“At the end of the day we have the responsibility to go out there and put our lives at risk. It should be a personal choice.”