Lewis Hamilton risks penalty as Mercedes star lashes out at FIA and refuses to comply

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LEWIS HAMILTON is embroiled in a jewellery spat with the FIA.

Lewis Hamilton is risking the wrath of the FIA by refusing to remove his nose stud despite a two-race notice to have it taken out. It is the latest twist in a petty jewellery saga that has rumbled on in the background of the Formula One season.

Lewis Hamilton

New FIA race director Niels Wittich has taken a stricter stance on jewellery than predecessor Michael Masi. “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,” FIA rules state.

Hamilton has several piercings and compromised on a few of them. The Mercedes star was given a two-race notice on taking out some studs that are difficult to remove. He previously joked that he would need to chop off his right ear to remove an accessory that is welded into his skin.

But the 37-year-old has now appeared to go back on that promise. Hamilton has said he will not be removing the piercing and will seek exemptions for the remainder of the season.

He told journalists: “No, [I am not going to do it]. I got an exemption here and I will get exemptions for the rest of the year. Wedding rings are allowed. I will wear four watches next time.”

The FIA insists that jewellery rules are strict to ensure the safety of drivers. However, Hamilton does not seem convinced and even earlier this week threatened to skip the Miami GP over the quarrel.

He added: “This whole safety thing. 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?’”

It contradicts Mercedes chief Toto Wolff, who insisted a compromise would be reached between Hamilton and the FIA, including president Mohammed bin Sulayem. He said: “What was needed was a dialogue between Lewis and Mohammed.

“It is clear that regulations are here to protect the drivers, but on the other side we need diversity and the means of expressing yourself and we know that this is important to Lewis. Without going into detail – where the piercings stayed and where they didn’t – I am sure they will come to a good resolution.”

The Independent report that Hamilton could receive a fine and points on his licence for failing to comply with the rules. However, Auto Motor und Sport go further, claiming fines are incredibly high.

A first offence will incur a £42,700 fine – in addition to a £21,350 suspended penalty. Repeat offenders risk being fined £85,400, plus the £21,350 from the probationary period. A third violation is apparently worth around £213,500 and the deduction of 10 championship points per offence. Teams who do not tell the ‘truth’ about their drivers’ jewellery risk being fined £213,500.

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