until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Hamilton gets FIA jewellery exemption over ‘disfigurement’ worry

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

Lewis Hamilton has been granted a medical exemption to wear jewellery in Formula 1 races as the FIA shares a concern about potential disfigurement if he repeatedly removes a nose piercing.

Hamilton was at the centre of a strange stand-off last year as the FIA attempted to clamp down on non-compliance with underwear and jewellery regulations.

The FIA wanted to ensure drivers stopped wearing jewellery, something that had become increasingly common whether it be piercings, chains or even watches, because of safety concerns should it impact driver extraction or cause complications in the event of a fire.

But the vagueness of the regulation and the way it was applied led to suggestions Hamilton was being singled out as his piercings were deemed a must-remove item whereas things like wedding rings were permitted.

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 Bahrain GP

Common ground was found after Hamilton was initially given an exemption to keep using one nose piercing for several races, then removed it ahead of the British Grand Prix.

There was a brief issue in Singapore where Mercedes was fined €25,000 after declaring Hamilton complied with the rules when he had not actually removed the piercing, which was put down to a mistake and accepted by the FIA as unintentional.

This was because Hamilton had re-fitted the nose piercing and had been advised to keep it in because removing it caused an infection. He was granted an exemption and allowed to race the rest of the season with the piercing in place.

Ahead of the 2023 season opener in Bahrain, the stewards noted that Mercedes had not declared in its scrutineering form that Hamilton complied with the jewellery rules.

This has been resolved with no further action being taken and an exemption again being granted so Hamilton does not have to keep removing the nose piercing this year.

The FIA medical delegate examined a report from Mercedes’ team doctor and agreed with the “concerns about disfigurement with frequent attempts at removal of the device”.

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