until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Hamilton jewellery legality unclear after first scrutineering

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

The FIA says the Mercedes Formula 1 team has not confirmed Lewis Hamilton is complying with the requirement not to wear jewellery in the first newly-mandated scrutineering declaration.

Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, the FIA specified that the scrutineering declaration form template would not concern “compliant underwear” and “the wearing of jewellery”.

This is the follow-up to the FIA promising it would crack down on drivers wearing normal underwear beneath their approved flameproof underwear, and also wearing jewellery while on-track.

Teams make their own scrutineering submissions prior to the weekend to declare their cars conform to the rules and can then be subjected to checks by the FIA.

Hamilton has been at the centre of this debate because he has permanent jewellery in his nose and ear.

The seven-time F1 world champion said he cannot remove those items and now his Mercedes team’s first scrutineering declaration following the jewellery and underwear mandate has not confirmed Hamilton is complying with not wearing jewellery.

The FIA International Sporting Code prohibits “jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start”.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Miami Grand Prix Practice Day Miami, Usa

FIA race director Niels Wittich has told teams that jewellery – such as the nose and ear studs Hamilton has said can’t be removed because they are “welded” in place – “can reduce the protection afforded by” their racewear.

“Metallic objects, such as jewellery, in contact with the skin can reduce heat transmission protection and thus may increase the risk of burn injuries in the event of a fire,” Wittich’s note says.

“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.”

Hamilton said earlier on Friday that he was willing to “sign a waiver” regarding his jewellery, and that he had contacted FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem to discuss a crackdown he feels is “very, very silly”.

He said the impact on individual expression made it a “step backwards” for F1 and that the FIA was creating an ‘unnecessary spat’.

His stance was backed by other drivers including four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, who even suggested the measures were aimed directly at Hamilton.

“I think it is a bit unnecessary to blow this topic up,” said Vettel.

“Probably at this stage it’s more of a personal thing, and I feel particularly in a way targeted to Lewis.

“We spoke about underpants as well, but really is that the most exciting thing we can talk about?”

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