“We’ve got a backup driver” – Lewis Hamilton doesn’t back down in the jewelry row at the Miami Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton has hinted he is ready to withdraw from Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix amid his ongoing jewelry dispute with Formula 1’s governing body.

Amilton arrived at the official FIA press conference on Thursday wearing a ring on each finger, a set of necklaces, a bracelet, piercings in both ears and three watches – two on his left wrist and one on his right – in a clear show of defiance .

The ban on wearing jewelry in the cockpit has been in effect for several years. But the ruling is now being enforced by new F1 racing director Niels Wittich and Mohammed ben Sulayem, the FIA ​​President.

But in response, seven-time world champion Hamilton said: “If they stop me, then so be it. We have a reserve driver so we are well prepared for the weekend. There’s a lot to do in the city anyway.”

Dutchman Nick de Vries, 27, who has never driven in Formula 1, is Mercedes’ reserve driver here. The teams received a scrutineering notice from the FIA ​​on Wednesday afternoon, which states: “The wearing of jewelry in the form of piercings or metal necklaces is prohibited during the competition and can therefore be checked before the start.”

Justifying the ruling, the FIA ​​​​continued: “Metal objects such as jewelery that come into contact with the skin can reduce heat transfer protection and therefore increase the risk of burn injuries in the event of a fire.

“The wearing of jewelry during competition can hamper medical procedures as well as subsequent diagnosis and treatment should it be required after an accident.

“The presence of jewelry can delay the emergency removal of rider safety equipment such as a helmet, balaclava and overalls.

“Jewelry in and/or near the respiratory tract may pose particular additional risks if it becomes detached during an accident and is either swallowed or inhaled.”

However, Hamilton said: “It’s almost like it’s a step backwards when you think about the steps we’re taking as a sport and the more important issues we need to focus on.

“We’ve made such great progress and it’s such a small thing. I’ve been in sports for 16 years and have been wearing jewelry for 16 years. In the car, I only have my earrings and nose ring on, which I can’t take off.

“It seems unnecessary for us to engage in this argument, so I will try to communicate and work with Mohammed.

“I’m here to be an ally of sport, an ally of Mohammed and Formula 1 and we have bigger fish to fry, bigger things to do and more impact to have and that should be the focus.”

The PA news agency understands Hamilton will need a TUE to prove his piercings cannot be removed to avoid an FIA sanction.

At last weekend’s FIA-accredited Formula E race in Monaco, Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Evans were fined €1,000 (£855) and a point on their licenses for wearing necklaces in the cockpit.

Hamilton added: “As I said, I cannot remove at least two of the piercings. One thing I can’t really explain is where it is. But it’s platinum, so it’s not magnetic.

“It has never been a security issue in the past. I am willing to sign a waiver to relieve the FIA ​​of responsibility if necessary. It’s about individuality and being who you are.

“I tried to call Mohammed this morning. I sent him a message just to reassure him that I don’t want to argue with the FIA ​​about this. That’s very, very silly. I haven’t heard an answer yet but I will try to speak to him before the race.”

Hamilton is 57 points behind championship leader Charles Leclerc in the first Grand Prix on Sunday in Miami. Hamilton finished 13th at Imola and was lapped by Max Verstappen two weeks ago.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko poked fun at Hamilton by saying he should have retired last year, while Hamilton’s former rival Nico Rosberg was also critical of the Brit’s performance.

“It was interesting to see that there was quite a lot of disrespectful comments,” Hamilton said. “It is to be expected. I just keep my head down. I know who I am, I know what I do, I love what I do.

“We are going through a difficult time. We didn’t get off the ground like we wanted this year, but we’re fighters and if you don’t know that about me, then you just don’t know me.” “We’ve got a backup driver” – Lewis Hamilton doesn’t back down in the jewelry row at the Miami Grand Prix

Fry Electronics Team

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