Guenther Steiner claims ‘everybody’ in F1 paddock agrees about Lewis Hamilton’s FIA row

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has claimed ‘everybody’ in the Formula One paddock would back a change in current regulations amid Lewis Hamilton’s ongoing row with the FIA. Hamilton is battling F1’s governing body over wearing jewellery and piercings in the cockpit.

The FIA handed the Mercedes driver a two-race warning to remove all jewellery and piercings while driving the W13. However, he fired back at the Miami Grand Prix and also cut a defiant figure at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

If he refuses to accept the FIA’s demands in Monaco this weekend, the governing body will be pressured to enforce punishment. But there is a belief they could let it slide after other drivers, including Pierre Gasly and Sebastien Vettel, publicly disagreed with how much the saga has been overblown.

Steiner is the latest figure to suggest he’s on Hamilton’s side, claiming rules are there to be followed, but he wouldn’t be against a change in the regulations against jewellery and piercings. Speaking ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Steiner said he believed the entire F1 paddock wouldn’t be against leaving the saga behind with a rule change.

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He told Sky Sports: “I think the big picture, it’s fair to everyone, it’s in the rules, the regulations. It’s not an invention that you have to take it out. It’s in the regulations that you cannot have it. So I personally have no problem with [Hamilton] having earrings or whatever.

“I asked our guys; they have no piercings or whatever. They’re OK; we’re not in the mix here. For me, it’s a little bit [excessive]… but it’s the rules. Some people have got the job to enforce rules, and they have to do it, so if they need to change the rules, I think everybody would agree to change this.”

He added: “We’re in 2022. I’m fully for if somebody likes it, it’s fine for me. Obviously, if it’s dangerous for somebody not to do… But there’s a claim that it isn’t. I’m neither here nor there. I have no piercings; my drivers have no piercings, so we’re good!”

The authority of new FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem will be one of the primary focuses of this weekend. And that seems to be the exact reason for frustration among drivers and fans ahead of one of the biggest races on the 2022 calendar.

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