After a recent disagreement between the FIA and Lewis Hamilton over the removal of body piercings, the Mercedes driver has now agreed to do this ahead of the Mimi Grand Prix according to reports. Although he has agreed, Hamilton has said that he still feels the ban is a “step backwards” and is “unnecessary”.
The FIA recently reinforced the rule that all drivers must remove all jewellery for each racing weekend. When this was first announced, Hamilton publicly disagreed and even said sarcastically that he would be willing to not race if the FIA came down harder on this.
However, following a conversation with the FIA, the seven-time champion has agreed to remove his piercings. Luckily, the drivers have been given a bit of notice for this and have two races until this comes into full force. This is especially fortunate for Hamilton as his nose stud is actually welded on and he needs a surgical procedure carried out to have it taken out.
Although this isn’t a new rule, it hasn’t been heavily regulated over the years but new race director Niels Wittich and FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem have decided to re-enforce it to ensure drivers are as safe as they can be.
Speaking about the enforcements, Hamilton explained:
“I feel like 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 focus on,” he said while decked in jewellery in the press conference.
“It seems unnecessary to get into this spat.
“I think we’ve made such great strides for the sport… and this is such a small thing.”
He followed on by saying:
“If they stop me, so be it.
“We’ve got spare drivers who are ready and prepped for the weekend. There’s a lot to do in the city anyway so I’m good either way.”
However, Hamilton seemed to change his mind slightly after a conversation with the FIA president:
“I reassured him that I want to be an ally, I don’t want to fight with you guys over this,” said Hamilton.
“It’s about individuality and being who you are. This is very, very silly.
“I’ve been in the sport for 16 years and I’ve been wearing jewellery for 16 years.
“I think we’ve got bigger fish to fry, bigger things to do, more impact to have and so I think that’s really where the focus should be.”