Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Miami International Autodrome, 2022

Hamilton: FIA have “bigger fish to fry” in F1 than jewellery clampdown

2022 Miami Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says that the FIA have “bigger fish to fry” than ensuring stricter enforcement of driver jewellery regulations.

FIA F1 race director Niels Wittich notified all teams ahead of the Miami Grand Prix weekend that they must now declare their drivers adhere to the FIA regulations regarding jewellery and fireproof underwear as part of the scrutineering procedure.

Speaking at the drivers press conference ahead of first practice at the Miami International Autodrome, while wearing noticeably more accessories than usual, Hamilton said the clampdown marked a “step backwards” for the sport.

“I couldn’t get any more jewellery on today,” Hamilton said. “But I don’t really have a lot more to add than what I already said the last time I was in front of you guys and we spoke about it.

“I feel it’s almost like a step backwards. If you think of the steps we’re taking as a sport and the more important issues and causes that we need to be focussed on and really pushing. I think we’ve made such great strides as a sport.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Miami International Autodrome, 2022
Report: FIA begins new clampdown on underwear and jewellery rules for F1 drivers
“Look, we’re here in Miami. This is such a small thing – I’ve been in the sport for 16 years, I’ve been wearing jewellery for 16 years. In the car only ever have my earrings on and my nose ring, of which I can’t even remove. So it seems unnecessary for us to get into this spat.”

The push by the FIA to ensure compliance with the International Sporting Code regulations on jewellery and approved underwear coincides with the new FIA race control team appointed under recently-elected president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who took over the role following the end of last year’s F1 season.

Hamilton says he will try and reach out to Ben Sulayem to try and encourage the FIA to focus more attention on matters Hamilton believes are of more importance.

“I’ll try to communicate and work with Mohammed,” Hamilton said.

“I’m here to be an ally of the sport of Mohammed and Formula 1 and, as I’ve said, I think we’ve got bigger fish to fry, bigger things to do, more impact to have. So I think that’s really where the focus should be.”

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    33 comments on “Hamilton: FIA have “bigger fish to fry” in F1 than jewellery clampdown”

    1. So, have Mercedes signed the piece of paper that their cars and drivers will participate in accordance with the rules set by the FIA for the Formula 1 World Championship this weekend?

      1. @proesterchen will you therefore call on Leclerc, Norris, Bottas and the other drivers who have been wearing rings on their hands whilst in the car to also be punished?

        If you claim you want the drivers to “follow the rules”, then wearing a ring would also be a penalty and you should also be asking whether Ferrari, McLaren or Alfa Romeo, to name just a few, have also signed the same piece of paper. Will you therefore apply the same standard and the same rules to those figures as well?

    2. Since it’s a small fish then you won’t have problems frying it.

    3. Just start penalising this primadonna and he’ll absolutely find a way to remove his bling-bling.

    4. Hamilton has achieved what he always wanted: Strict application of all rules.

    5. Let’s see how his fans will manage to defend him in case he’ll not respect the rules

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        6th May 2022, 17:48

        Probably the standard ‘He HaS a TaRgEt oN hIs bAcK’, as he’s (as far as I know) the only one with visible piercings. Sure those already existing rules are only there to bother his highness…

        1. Emmanuel Jenkinson
          6th May 2022, 19:59

          i’ll give it an honest go:

          1. Lewis has been racing for well over a decade and a half with his jewelry – no sporting authority seemed to have a problem then (even with the framework rule/article in place and codified).

          2. In the car, during actual sanctioned racing, Lewis only has his “permanent” soldered/welded jewelry on – rings are off, necklaces are off, watch is off, even the hair tie is out.

          3. The rule somehow manages to exclude rings and watches and only explicitly states “jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains“. The document goes on to mention this is for driver safety and to not pose a hindrance in the event medical personnel need to access a driver. I’m personally not against it, it needs some work but its passable and that’s the territory with old rules. I am however not going to pretend I don’t see viable counter arguments to it:
          3a. How exactly is a metal band/ring around a driver’s finger safe enough to not to be included here? Have you ever seen a de-gloved finger? Don’t if you haven’t.
          3b. Where on earth is an intricate heavy timepiece adorn with (sapphire) glass and a few hundred choking hazards and shards upon impact strapped to a wrist cool to fly under the radar of this enforcement? With a straight face the FIA say the “presence of jewellery can slow, due to the risk of “snagging” the emergency removal of driver safety equipment such as helmet, balaclava, and overalls.” and not once did anyone stop and stare at their watches or rings?

          4. Lewis has gone out of his way to account for medical imaging and opted for platinum piercings. Platinum is one of the least reactive metals. It has remarkable resistance to corrosion, even at high temperatures. Platinum is a noble metal and like I mentioned earlier, does play nice with medical imaging and the profession in general.

          5. In any scenario where Lewis’ ear and nose piercings were a factor in his injuries, the helmet, balaclava, hans device, overalls, and entire crash structures of the car would have failed him and he was on his way out already. I don’t know what explosion is hot enough to solder the piercings into Lewis but somehow bypass all the safety gear and also not at least kill him by either suffocation inside the helmet or severe burns. His ears and nose are literally safer than Checo’s ring finger or Schumacher’s throat.

          6. Here’s the spicy one I think you’ll like Barry: It’s not that wild to come to the conclusion that it feels targeted. I mean you blissfully made your point known about how you felt about the new additions to the safety car restart procedure. I guess you can afford me some sympathy if I feel like I don’t find the flaw in my favorite driver’s logic no? I mean think about it, this enforcement showed up out of nowhere, it manages to “inadvertently” and disproportionately affect one driver on the grid and you expect said driver to just take it on the chin? Even without the AD backdrop and extenuating consequences how else is this supposed to be interpreted? I’m genuinely asking here? How else?

          You and I drive heavier cars on roads ill equipped to handle most accidents yet there are no laws about whether or not you’re allowed to wear a silk shirt while driving on public roads. If tomorrow six point harnesses where mandatory to being able to use public roads, I’m comfortable hypothesizing you wouldn’t be the biggest fan and you’d mention your regular seat belt does the job fine and that this is a step back in so many ways.


          1. +100000000000.

            Very very very well said!

      2. They’ll pull out the racism card as always.

    6. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      6th May 2022, 17:46

      Mercedes: ‘FIA needs to start clamping down on existing rules’
      FIA: *enforces existing rules*
      Mercedes: ‘AYO HOLDUP’

      Hamiltons logic is flawd as always. If you don’t clamp down on smaller things, how are you going to attempt to do bigger things?

    7. They could add an exception to the rule where jewelry is allowed as long as it is only on the head (and thus protected by the driver’s helmet) and using only materials that don’t cause problems with medical imaging. That would get them out of this quandary with Hamilton while still keeping the safety aspect of the rule intact. But nobody should complain that the rulebook keeps getting longer and longer if everything needs to have an exception.

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        6th May 2022, 17:52

        This meme about it only being for medical imaging is rather bad.

        If you yeet a helmet off of someones head who has, for instance, an earring or nosepiercing, I can gurantee you it won’t be a pretty sight. Anything that isn’t party of the body can get stuck on something inside of the helmet and can cause massive tissue damage.

        But hey, as long as you have a shiny piece of glass in your nose it’s all good right?

        1. The helmet and the jewelry are still separated from one another by the balaclava, so getting stuck in it shouldn’t be an issue. And nobody is going to ‘yeet off’ the helmet of a driver with a suspected head injury anyway.

          I’m not supporting what Hamilton is doing here, but ultimately, F1 management isn’t going to let the FIA prevent their biggest star from competing in their brand new American race. In this particular instance, Hamilton holds the greater leverage (as ridiculous as that may be), and if he chooses to not back down the FIA is going to have to find some kind of compromise.

    8. So what Lewis wants is a more hands-off approach to the rule book so there’s flexibility? Gotcha Lewis, sure can do.

      1. Same as the hands-off approach to the rule book applied to Verstappen.

    9. Makes a nice distraction from the fake rigged championship of last year. This is totally about race in my opinion.

    10. This is an extraordinarily weird hill for Hamilton to die on.

      1. My reaction exactly. Weird thing to take on

    11. I really don’t think Lewis has much of a point here. Yes, the rules have been poorly enforced in the past. But they weren’t written for fun, there are genuine reasons for them and they apply across all forms of motorsport. There are always going to be more important things going on in regard to anything, it doesn’t make the other stuff disposable.

    12. Maybe masi should come back. Then Lewis is free from worrying about his appearance.

    13. “Remove the jewelry and loose som weight on the car and you might start winning again, Mr. Hamilton”

    14. Small & silly.

    15. Sometimes I wonder whether I’ve wondered into a fringe meeting of the Ku Klux Klan on this site.

      1. People are just reacting to his, frankly, ridiculous reaction.

        I’ve backed Lewis in almost every situation but this is pathetic.

        You’ll race in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, China, Russia etc but only choose to take a principled stand when F1 chooses to tighten-up on an existing rule that they warned everyone about in advance.

        Take your jewellery off and stop being a baby!

      2. There sure is a lot of people out there ready to pile in on Hamilton on the flimsiest pretext @david-br and yeah, for some at least, you have to wonder about the ummmm shall we say variety of their motivations

      3. @david-br These comments of yours are getting more and more ridiculous. You used to be a far more respectable member of this site and now you’re about as loony as flat earthers.

        1. @neiana Ah, that’s literally the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.

    16. True but then again, think about how Romain Grosjean had to pull his foot out of his shoe to get out of the car at Bahrain. Imagine if jewelry prevented you from taking your arm, hand or whatever out of a tricky position… Not an ideal situation.

      I think it makes sense to ensure drivers wear all the fireproof clothing and wear no extra accessories… Whether the directors needed to.enforce this so abruptly after just joining in is an interesting question regardless

    17. I agree with Lewis, some Jewelry like knobs can in no way interfere with safety. It’s ridiculous. Next thing you know they will ask for tooth fillings to be removed!

    18. Pjotr (@pietkoster)
      7th May 2022, 9:02

      Well the commends were that the rules weren’t followed in the last race, last year. So now Sir Lewis has to see a surgeon to get the hardware out. I guess the “snake bit his own tail.”

    19. Pjotr (@pietkoster)
      7th May 2022, 11:33

      You wanted the rules to be followed last year, now you get them.

    20. Surely he can get Angela to remove his nose thing since she does everything else for him like carrying his man-bag around. Worse case I’m sure he can hire a special person to remove his jewelry on Thursdays and re-install them on Mondays during racing weekends.

    Comments are closed.