Lewis Hamilton happy not to race at the Miami GP if F1 enforces jewelery in

MIAMI – Lewis Hamilton has called Formula One’s on drivers wearing jewelery in the car “a step backwards” and “very silly”, saying they will happily spend the weekend sightseeing in Miami instead of racing this weekend if the sport’s governing body, the FIA, rigorously enforces the rule.

Ahead of Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix, race director Niels Wittich reminded drivers that they were banned from wearing jewelery in the car under the FIA’s International Sporting Code, which was also raised ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in April.

In Miami, the FIA ​​banned jewelery under a scrutineering declaration form distributed to all teams and has clarified which clothing drivers must wear underneath their overalls for safety reasons.

Wittich’s clarification said: “The wearing of jewelery during the competition can hinder both medical interventions as well as subsequent diagnosis and treatment should it be required following an accident. The presence of jewelery can slow, due to the risk of” snagging “, the emergency removal of driver safety equipment such as helmet, balaclava, and overalls. “

It added: “The wearing of jewelery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start.”

Hamilton appeared to be making a point in Friday morning’s news conference as he was wearing several necklaces, rings on every finger and three watches, each set to a different time zone.

“I couldn’t get any more jewelery on today,” he joked when asked about the ban.

Hamilton said he has two piercings which would be difficult to remove.

“It’s platinum that I have, so it’s not magnetic. It’s never been a safety issue in the past.

“In 16 years, I’ve had so many MRI scans and not had to take out the platinum because it’s not been an easy one.”

He then added: “If they stop me, then so be it.

“We’ve got a spare driver so we’re all ready and prepped for the weekend. There’s lots to do in the city anyway! It’ll be good either way.”

Hamilton, who added he is willing to sign a waiver to take responsibility away from the FIA, was unable to get hold of FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem on Thursday but said he plans to discuss the issue ahead of Sunday’s race.

“I feel like it’s almost like a step backwards, if you think about the steps we’re taking as a sport, and the more important reasons that we need to be focused on,” he added.

“I think we’ve made really great strides as a sport. This is such a small thing.

“I’ve been in the sport for 16 years and I’ve been wearing jewelry for 16 years. In the car I only ever have my earrings on and my nose ring, which I can’t even remove. It seems unnecessary for us to get into this spat. “

The four drivers sat alongside Hamilton in the news conference offered their support.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly said they would not feel comfortable racing without a religious symbol on him.

“I do not understand [Hamilton’s comments]. I do believe there are bigger things to focus on.

“I have a religious item that I wear with me when I’m racing which is important to me. I don’t feel comfortable not having that in the car. I do feel like its personal, we should have the freedom to do what we feel is right for us.

“At the end of the day we have the responsibility to go out there and put our lives at risk. It should be a personal choice.”