Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton
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Lewis Hamilton could face a ban from the British Grand Prix over his jewellery row with the FIA, unless the seven-time world champion changes his tune. The deadline to remove piercings and jewellery initially stood before this weekend’s action in Monaco, but a revised plan threatens to change the landscape of the season.
The FIA have taken a different approach to numerous aspects of governance this season, with the enforcement of jewellery and underwear rules one of the most high-profile. Regulations banning drivers from wearing jewellery and piercings during competition have been in place for years, but only now is the whip being cracked.
Hamilton’s resistance stems partly from the fact that his nose piercing cannot be removed without needing minor surgery. The Brit was initially given a two-race grace period to comply with the rules, which would have expired in Monaco.
But GP Fans claims that the FIA have opted to postpone the deadline even further so that they can clarify the wording of their rules. The new date is reportedly set at June 30, meaning the British Grand Prix in early July will be the first contest with the new regulations officially in place as things stand.
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That therefore introduces the possibility of Hamilton being banned from his home race at Silverstone. The FIA are supposedly proposing to dish out fines and hit drivers with penalty points, with 12 of them leading to a race ban.
It is not yet known whether Hamilton will come around to the idea of playing by the rules when the new deadline rolls around, but he suggested the possibility of boycotting races when quizzed on the matter in Miami earlier this month.
Action against Hamilton would deny fans the opportunity to witness a repeat of last year’s breathless Grand Prix at Silverstone, which saw the Brit clash with Max Verstappen on the opening lap. In the short term, at least, Hamilton can go into this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix with a clear mind given that he is free from imminent consequences.
Mercedes had plenty of positives to take last time out in Spain as their porpoising issues finally look to be under control. An early collision with Kevin Magnussen left Hamilton miles behind the pack and he was ready to give up, but strong pace and perseverance earned him an impressive fifth-place finish and more precious points on the board.
Silver Arrows trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin recently told the F1 Nation podcast how Hamilton’s afternoon could well have been even better.
“Lewis did look like he had good race pace, but it wasn’t a race where you could drive it in an angry way [due to the heat],” he explained. “It was a mix of misfortune for Lewis, who could have had a good race had he been up the front, but overall encouragement with the progress because we can do more of what we’ve done to improve for the next few.
“The reality is to take this car and turn it into something that can challenge for poles and wins, which is more than we’ve had up to this stage. The mood in the camp is good, more hard work to come though.”
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