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Hamilton gets two-race F1 exemption from FIA over jewellery

Lewis Hamilton has received a two-race exemption from the FIA over the jewellery he cannot easily remove after holding talks with its medical staff on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Alexander Trienitz

As part of the FIA’s clampdown on drivers wearing jewellery in the car, which is forbidden under the International Sporting Code, checks by teams were made part of the scrutineering process ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.

Hamilton turned up to Friday’s FIA press conference wearing three watches, eight rings, bracelets and a necklace, and claimed it was “unnecessary” for officials to be focusing on “such a small thing”.

“It’s almost like a step backwards,” Hamilton said.

“If you think about the steps we’re taking as a sport and the more important issues and causes we need to be focusing on.”

Hamilton’s view was supported by a number of drivers, including Sebastian Vettel, who felt the moves clamping down on jewellery were “targeting” Hamilton.

Hamilton explained that he wore at least two bits of jewellery that could not be removed, including a nose piercing, but they were made of platinum and he had never encountered any previous issues.

Asked if he would step aside and not race in the event of a stand-off with the FIA, Hamilton replied: “If they stop me, then so be it. We’ve got a spare driver.”

Autosport has learned that Hamilton met with officials from the FIA’s medical commission following the press conference to discuss the matter.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

During the talks, it is understood that it was explained to Hamilton that the push was nothing to do with stamping out personal expression and purely based on safety grounds.

Hamilton agreed that he would remove whatever jewellery he could for this weekend’s race in Miami, and was given an exemption until Monaco for the items that he could not easily remove.

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As well as clamping down on jewellery, drivers have also been reminded about wearing the correct underwear while in the car, again on safety grounds.

Romain Grosjean’s accident at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix has been regularly cited as an example of an accident where either jewellery snagging or the incorrect clothing could cause issues in the event of a fire or while extricating drivers from the cockpit of their cars.

Ahead of opening practice in Miami, technical delegate Jo Bauer issued a scrutineering update confirming that Mercedes had now “submitted a completely filled-in self-scrutineering sheet for the 2022 Miami GP”.

The initial scrutineering document said Mercedes had not confirmed that Hamilton was “complying with the requirement to not wear any jewellery, in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains or watches” while in the car.

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