FIA denies backing down in Lewis Hamilton row

Lewis Hamilton has received a medical exemption for his jewellery, bringing to a close a long-running row with the FIA.

Lewis Hamilton was the only driver on the grid to not fill out a self-scrutineering form on jewellery prior to the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, leading to a brief investigation.

Formula One’s governing board, the FIA, confirmed prior to the race that the Mercedes driver had been given a medical exemption allowing him to wear his nose stud when he’s in the car.

“They got a doctor’s report from Lewis Hamilton’s side of the garage saying repeated removal and reinstatement of the nose stud could cause disfigurement.,” Sky Sports presenter Ted Kravitz said. 

“That’s why they have got an exemption. Effectively Lewis’ nose stud is still in. He’s still got the nose stud in, does have a medical exemption which the FIA have accepted and no further action is to be taken.”:

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The Mercedes driver found himself in a row with the FIA throughout most of the 2022 season over the enforcement of rules that would require him to remove all his jewellery before lining up on the grid.

Hamilton did initially appease the FIA last season, removing his nose stud before the British Grand Prix but it reappeared in Singapore after he claimed to have suffered an infection.

“The Stewards consulted the FIA Medical Delegate, who viewed the medical report, examined the driver and concurred with the opinion therein. We have determined to take no further action as there are concerns about disfigurement with frequent attempts at removal of the device,” the FIA said in a statement. 

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“The rule exists for safety reasons and applies to all competitors in all FIA competitions. Formula 1 drivers are the most visible competitors in world motor sport, and it is their responsibility to set the example for other drivers at every age, level and discipline,” a spokesperson for the FIA said, explaining the regulation in place.  

Discussing the exemption for Hamilton, the FIA was clear that it’s not a case of the organisation backing down but, instead, claimed it’s “standard procedure to issue a decision based on the scrutineering submission we received.” 

Hamilton’s medical exemption is expected to last for the entirety of the season.