Hamilton has 'no plans' to stop wearing jewelry during F1 races despite FIA ban

Lewis Hamilton insists he will continue to wear jewelry during Formula 1 races despite a renewed effort from the FIA to enforce a ban which has existed since 2004.

New race director Niels Wittich, who joined F1 earlier this year as one of two alternating replacements for the outgoing Michael Masi, informed drivers before last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix that the motorsport governing body would be taking the rule banning the wearing of jewelry on safety grounds more seriously as the season progresses.

The rule which Wittich wants drivers to follow reads: ‘The wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start.’ The rule has not been heavily enforced since its installation, however, and a number of drivers wear jewelry including wedding rings during races.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton wears an array of necklaces and a nose piercing throughout race weekends as things stand, and says that the semi-permanent nature of his piercings means he will ignore Wittich’s plea and continue to race with them.

‘I don’t have any plans on removing [jewellery],’ he said. I feel there are personal things, you should be able to be who you are. There’s stuff that I can’t move, so I can’t even take these [earrings] out. These ones on my right ear, they’re literally welded in. I [would] have to get them chopped off or something like that, so they will be staying.’

Wittich is also focusing on drivers’ underwear in his push for increased safety measures, insisting that racers should only be wearing fireproof garments when behind the wheel of the car. That led 26-year-old AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly to joke: ‘If they want to check my arse, feel free, I’ve got nothing to hide. My c*ck, everything. If that makes them happy, feel free.’

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, meanwhile, told the Press Association that while he sees Wittich’s point, the new race director should have bigger fish to fry.

‘How he has run the first few races has been respectful, solid and he hasn’t put a single foot wrong,’ Wolff, who was pleased to see the back of Masi after his role in the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which saw Max Verstappen beat Hamilton to the title last December, said. ‘But is that [jewellery ban] a battle he needs to have at this stage? However, if it turns out to be [his] biggest unfortunate misstep [as] a race director, I would take it a thousand times over.’

The fourth round of the 2022 Formula 1 season will take place at the Imola circuit in Italy during the weekend of 22-24 April.

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