Lewis Hamilton believes the FIA’s stricter enforcement of driver jewellery regulations is unnecessary, while adding that Formula 1‘s focus should be on other matters.
Just as he did prior to the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, new F1 race director Niels Wittich reminded all teams about the FIA International Sporting Code which prohibits drivers from wearing jewellery in the car ahead of the Miami Grand Prix weekend
Furthermore, all teams must now declare their drivers adhere to the regulations as part of the scrutineering procedure.
Hamilton, who showed up to the drivers press conference wearing three watches, eight rings, four necklaces and two earrings after the FIA outlined a new jewellery ban, believes the issue marks a step backwards for the sport.
“I couldn’t get any more jewellery on today,” said Hamilton. “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 focused on and really pushing. I think we’ve made such great strides as a sport.
“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, which I can’t even remove.
“So it seems unnecessary for us to get into this spat.”
Gasly backs Hamilton
Hamilton isn’t alone in questioning the clampdown, with AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly backing the seven-time World Champion.
The Frenchman, who stated he wears a religious item and does not feel comfortable while driving without it, believes drivers should have a choice when it comes to what they wear.
“I do feel it is a little bit personal,” said Gasly. “We should have the freedom to do what feels right.”
Hamilton added that he had already reached out to FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem regarding the matter, as he believes the sport should focus on more important matters.
“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,” said Hamilton. So I think that’s really where the focus should be.”