The official scrutineering submission now includes checks on whether or not drivers are wearing jewellery and FIA-approved underwear.
The plan, which has the full approval of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, sets up a potential showdown with Lewis Hamilton at a time when the sport is receiving unprecedented, favourable global media coverage.
After previously warning of the crackdown, race director Niels Wittich, who returns to duty this weekend after testing negative for COVID, included a scrutineering declaration in a note to the teams on Thursday that was amended for this event to include checks relating to compliant underwear and the wearing of jewellery.
According to the regulations on flame resistant clothing, “drivers and co-drivers participating in the championships listed below must wear overalls as well as gloves (optional for co-drivers), long underwear, a balaclava, socks and shoes homologated to the FIA 8856-2018 standard.”
“In case of justified medical reasons, non FIA-approved underwear may be worn between the driver’s skin and the compulsory FIA-approved underwear. However, the use of synthetic, non-flameproof materials in contact with the driver’s skin is not authorised.”
“Drivers and co-drivers can wear additional flameproof underwear, which is not FIA approved, between their skin and the compulsory FIA-approved underwear.”
In reference to wearing of jewellery, the note indicated: “The wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start.”
He adds that the following additional information is supplied for the information of all teams and authorities in connection to Appendix L, Chapter III, Article 2:
“The above noted regulation is written to ensure that the FIA-approved Flame-resistant clothing, including both the outer layer overalls and inner layer in contact with the skin can operate effectively and provide the designed level of protection if exposed to flames.”
“The use of non-flameproof materials in contact with the driver’s skin, and in particular synthetic materials, can reduce heat transmission protection and thus increase the risk of burn injuries in the event of a fire. In the worst case such materials may melt which can hinder treatment in the event of a burn injury.”
The following extra notice is supplied for the benefit of all teams and officials in respect to Appendix L, Chapter III, Article 5:
“The above noted regulation is written in consideration that the wearing of jewellery underneath the required flameproof clothing can reduce the protection afforded by this equipment.”
“Metallic objects, such as jewellery, in contact with the skin can reduce heat transmission protection and thus may increase the risk of burn injuries in the event of a fire.”
“The wearing of jewellery 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 jewellery can slow, due to the risk of “snagging”, the emergency removal of driver safety equipment such as helmet, balaclava, and overalls.”
“In the case that medical imaging is required to inform diagnosis following an accident the presence of jewellery on the body can cause significant complication and delay. In the worst case the presence of jewellery during imaging may cause further injury.”
“Jewellery in and/or around the airway can pose specific additional risks should it become dislodged during an accident and either ingested or inhaled.”
The move was originally announced to drivers at the start of the Melbourne weekend, prompting a lengthy discussion at the following drivers’ briefing.
When asked about his ear piercing and nose stud after the event, Hamilton said, “I don’t have any plans on removing them.”
Hamilton had previously quipped that he had “some piercings that I really just can’t take out that not many people know about.”
“I feel there are personal things. You should be able to be who you are,” the seven-time world champion added.
“There is stuff that I can’t move, I literally can’t even take these out… these ones on my right ear, they are literally welded in so I have to get them chopped off or something like that. So they will be staying.”