Monaco Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton says wearing jewellery should not be a problem

Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has said “way too much time” is being devoted to the issue of drivers wearing jewellery in the cars.

Formula 1’s governing body the FIA has ducked a potential stand-off over on the matter at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix by referring it for further analysis.

The move follows talks with the drivers at the race in Spain last weekend.

Hamilton said: “It’s not been a problem in the past and there’s no reason for it to be problem necessarily now.”

Hamilton has been the focus of the debate because, of all the drivers, he wears most jewellery.

The issue has arisen this year after FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem asked his officials to strictly impose the rules governing race equipment, which forbid drivers from wearing jewellery in their cars.

Hamilton, who has been the focus of the debate, had talks with Ben Sulayem at the Miami event earlier this month and was given a two-race exemption to continue wearing a nose ring he says is fixed in place and would have to be cut off.

That could have led to a stand-off in Monaco this weekend, but the FIA has decided to refer the matter to its medical commission so that the safety implications can be fully studied.

The FIA has given itself a deadline of the end of June to come to a position on the wearing of jewellery in cars, how the rules should be applied and whether a changes needs to be made.

This was forbidden in the rules many years ago because of the perception that it could heighten the risks for drivers in the event of a fire.

But several of the drivers have said they feel it should be a personal matter for them to decide whether they want to take that risk.

Hamilton said: “Honestly, I feel like there’s just way too much time and energy being given to this. I’ve said everything I feel I need to say on it in the last races and that’s not what my focus is this weekend [in Monaco].

“[I’ve been] taking out my [ear] studs for every time I’ve been in the car, and I will continue to do so. The nose ring is not a problem, at the moment.”

He added: “Look, [the jewellery rule] came in in 2005. I think we’ve all worn jewellery our whole careers in Formula 1.

“It definitely is positive that we’re working with [the FIA] and I think they’re accommodating a little bit at the moment.

“But we shouldn’t have to keep on revisiting this thing every weekend. We’ve definitely got bigger fish to fry.”

Meanwhile, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen said that since Miami he has started taking off his wedding ring before getting in the car, despite wanting to wear it, as a result of the FIA’s stance.

“I took it off once they said there was a €50,000 fine,” he said. “That’s it – I put it right in my drawer! Not gonna take the risk.”

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