Lewis Hamilton remains determined to defy Formula One’s governing body over his piercings and jewellery. Following qualifying for Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix, the seven-time world champion said that he still did not believe the sport’s ban on wearing jewellery in the car made sense and he will continue to pursue his right to wear it.
On Friday, Hamilton stated he would not remove his piercings, warning he was willing to miss the race over the issue. He ultimately came to a compromise with the FIA, taking out his ear piercings and was told his nose stud, which could not be removed, would be given a medical exemption for two races until the Monaco Grand Prix.
After taking sixth place on the grid for Sunday’s race, Hamilton was unequivocal in his determination. “No”, he said when asked if he was going to remove his nose piercing. “I got an exemption here, I will get an exemption for the rest of them.”
The FIA are insistent they are pursuing the rule, which has not not been rigidly enforced in the past, for safety reasons. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $265,000 or points on a driver’s licence but Hamilton is intent on continuing the stand-off not least because wearing some metal in the car remains acceptable. “Wedding rings are allowed,” he noted pointedly.
The agreement on Friday for Hamilton had been reached after discussions with FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem, understood to be strongly in favour of enforcing the rule, and a meeting with the body’s president of the medical commission, Dr Sean Petherbridge.
Hamilton maintained the FIA is making a fuss over unimportant issues and their stance still made no sense . “When they told me about the jewellery, they were saying safety is everything,” he said. “Well, what’s happened the last 16 years? I’ve had jewellery on for 16 years, so was safety not an issue back then?”
The issue will stay to the fore before the Monaco GP on 29 May though the FIA is likely to issue a further clarification before then, especially regarding wedding rings. Several drivers have already stated they believe banning such rings is too restrictive and they would prefer to sign a waiver.