Hamilton could miss the British Grand Prix due to jewellery ban

Hamilton could miss the British Grand Prix due to jewellery ban

Lewis Hamilton has been embroiled in a dispute with the FIA regarding the jewellery ban for some weeks.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton may be forced to miss the British Grand Prix if he continues to wear jewellery in the car after the end of June.

The FIA has reminded drivers twice this year of the 2005 regulation prohibiting drivers from wearing jewellery in their cars due to the risk of fire, but Hamilton has resisted the directives.

In a press conference ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, the British driver argued that Formula One has “bigger fish to fry” than regulating what drivers wear in the car, but he insisted that he wanted to be an “ally” to FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem. As a result, the drivers have been negotiating with the FIA to see if they can reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties.

Lucas di Grassi, a Venturi Formula E driver who spent the 2010 season racing in F1 with Virgin, was penalised in 2018 for not wearing the proper fireproof underwear in the car, which is another rule the FIA is enforcing.

The 10-time all-electric race winner earlier stated that a compromise should not be required because it is customary practice to remove jewellery when working in “high-voltage conditions.”

“The rule has been around since forever,” he told RaceFans. “It’s just that it’s more critical now that we are operating with high voltage vehicles – regardless if it’s hybrid or it is fully electric, you have high-voltage systems and you cannot have metal around you.”

“It’s a standard rule if you work in a high-voltage environment. Even wedding rings and everything else.”

“So I don’t make a big fuss about it. I take my rings out in a race and then put them back. So I don’t know why this big fuss is really about. It is just for safety and that’s it.”

The fact that the rule is now being implemented 17 years after the FIA initially introduced it was Hamilton’s issue with the argument.

“This whole safety thing, man,” he told PA. “When they told me about the jewellery, they said safety is everything and I said ‘well, what’s happened for the last 16 years? I’ve had jewellery on for 16 years, so was safety not an issue back then?’”

Since the seven-time champion has fixtures on his body that are difficult to remove, he has stated that they would remain on him. He donned three watches to the press conference in Florida in defiance of the ban, and after being granted an extension until the Monaco Grand Prix, he pledged to continue wearing jewellery in the paddock and in the car.

“I get an exemption here [and] I’ll get one for the rest of the year. Wedding rings are allowed. I’ll wear four watches next time,” stated Hamilton.

The FIA is now claimed to have imposed a deadline of June 30 for drivers to remove permanent jewellery and follow the sport’s rules while driving.

Scrutineers at the event will then have the authority to search the drivers for any metallic objects that they should not be wearing, as well as their underwear to ensure that it is fireproof.

The British Grand Prix is the next race after the deadline, in early July, which means that if the feud escalates, the seven-time champion will be forced to withdraw from his home race.

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