Lewis Hamilton's stand-off with Formula One chiefs regarding the strict rules regarding wearing jewellery in the cockpit risks getting 'nasty' and may see the Mercedes driver miss the Monaco Grand Prix, Sky Sports' Ted Kravitz has said.
New race director Niels Wittich is applying regulations around jewellery extremely strictly and issued a note to teams about the rules on the Thursday ahead of the Miami Grand Prix – something that Hamilton criticised in his pre-race comments.
In a clear message to the governing body, Hamilton attended the pre-race press conference covered in bling, including three watches, and hinted that he'd be prepared to miss the race – though he did adhere to regulations and remove his earrings.
Removal of two more piercings, however, were more complicated and Hamilton was granted a two-race exemption period preventing him from receiving punishment but the British driver has made it clear he wants exemptions for the entirety of the season.
That puts Hamilton and the FIA on a collision course for the Monaco Grand Prix at the end of the month, where the driver's current exemption period expires, and could even put his participation in Monte Carlo in doubt.
“He’s taken his earrings out but he can’t take out his nose [stud] and we thought he was going to have minor surgery to take out the nose [stud]," Kravitz said on his Ted's Notebook programme on Sky Sports. "Hamilton’s now saying, having been given two races’ grace, here (Miami) and in Barcelona, that he will not take out his nose [stud]. He doesn’t want to, doesn’t think it’s something the FIA should be doing, so it looks like the war between Hamilton and the FIA continues.
“Is he going to rack up fines when we get to Monaco and he hasn’t taken it out because the hole has closed up? It’s not as easy as him being able to just take it out like he can his earrings. So there is a little storm brewing. Hamilton has said they can fine me whatever they want, but it’s not as simple as that.
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“If the FIA decide to not scrutineer the driver, which it looks like they can do, they can stop Lewis from going out of the pit lane at the beginning of Friday practice because he has not been scrutineered – the driver is now effectively scrutineered in the same way as a car is. So this could get very nasty quite quickly in a race-and-a-half’s time.”
Hamilton has stated that he has worn jewellery in the cockpit since he first started racing in 2007 and other drivers have backed his stance, with Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel suggesting Hamilton is being 'targeted' with the strict regulations.
Former F1 driver Romain Grosjean, who suffered a horrific crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix that left him with severe bans on his hands, has also backed Hamilton's stance by indicating he wouldn't want to remove his wedding ring which 'protected' him in that incident.
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