Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is at risk of being banned from the Monaco Grand Prix over his stance on wearing jewelry at race weekends
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Lewis Hamilton has been told the F1 driver jewelry ban is being imposed for the “right reasons” as the fallout from the ruling continues.
The crackdown was announced by FIA bosses ahead of this month’s Miami Grand Prix, with Hamilton initially defiant. The seven-time world champion appeared at his media service on Thursday with three watches, eight rings and four necklaces.
He even threatened to boycott the race if officials ordered him to remove the items before the race, saying “We have a backup driver. There’s a lot to do in town, I’ll be good either way.” However, the British driver then retracted his stance and agreed to a compromise by removing his ear piercings.
However, he was granted a two-race dispensation for his nose studs, with officials accepting that they would require surgery. According to Miami, that permit appears to expire after the Spanish Grand Prix on May 22, seriously threatening Hamilton’s place in the field for Monaco a week later.
While in America, Hamilton argued there were bigger issues for F1 bosses to worry about, but now Alex Wurz, who has driven 69 times in F1 for Benetton, McLaren and Williams, has hit back. The Austrian is strongly committed to driving safety and education.
“It’s a rule for the right reasons,” he told Reuters, before conceding the issue could have been handled better. “I probably would have liked a slightly different approach to delivering the message.
“I don’t want to end up in football, where there’s more hands in the air and abuse – you have to work together. It’s a style I would have preferred in this case.”
It’s not the only divisive new measure, as F1 bosses are also looking to make drivers’ wearing of fireproof underwear strong. Sebastian Vettel aimed for that performance in America by comically wearing his boxer shorts over his driver’s overalls before the first practice session.
However, Wurz provided a valid argument for the introduction of this regulation. He recalled a lecture given by former Danish racing driver Kris Nissen, who in 1988 was involved in a high-speed sports car accident at Japan’s Fuji Circuit as a youth.
“He showed his body and said look at it,” Wurz explained. “For him, the absolute most painful thing after a fire, and it wasn’t a long fire, was that the elastic in his regular pants was burned into his skin,” he said [it was] years of agony and pain. And it raised me.
“In that moment, I said I didn’t want to live those consequences, just for [not] I take off my pants and put on fireproof underpants. The same goes for jewelry.”
The two measures are not new in F1 circles but appear to have been stepped up since FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem took office late last year. The new race director Niels Wittich should also speak out against drivers with jewellery.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/formula-1/lewis-hamilton-f1-jewellery-ban-26983358 Race director explains to Lewis Hamilton why F1's jewelry ban is for all the right reasons