Hamilton told ‘you just don’t drive’ as jewellery row with the FIA risks boiling over

The 2022 Formula 1 season has seen the introduction of two race directors, namely Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has one race remaining before being awarded a fine and a potential race ban, should he continue to race whilst wearing jewellery.

New race director Niels Wittich, has clamped down on both jewellery and underwear wearing whilst in the car, demanding that no jewellery should be on and that fireproof underwear is an essential.

Hamilton, who is well-known for wearing a vast amount of jewellery, has called the move a “step-backwards”.

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The British driver has received support from both fellow drivers and his team, however, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is less sympathetic on the matter.

“For me, it’s just a topic that gets a bit too much hyped up in the entire paddock– from drivers, but also from the media side,” said the McLaren boss,

“If you don’t like to take off your jewellery, or if you don’t want to put the fireproof underwear on, you just don’t drive – it’s quite straightforward and simple.

“Also, from the FIA side, they offered again a dialogue for all kinds of situations where it might be a bit trickier to take the jewellery off, for example.

“That’s exactly what we are asking for and what we also like [to] see, that there is this open dialogue possible in order to find solutions.

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“It’s a rule, and you have to follow the rule. We as teams or drivers are the first ones to cry when rules are in place and they do not get enforced, so let’s just get on with it.”

Seidl has been very impressed with the sport’s new race directors, Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, with the latter set to take charge of his first Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend in Spain.

The pair were brought in following Michael Masi’s removal from the role, due to his controversial handling of the 2021 season finale.

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Seidl has been encouraged by how Wittich especially has gone about his work; the McLaren boss is confident that with the new pair in charge the sport is in a “good place”.

“I don’t want to compare to the past, because from our point of view, we have been very happy with the exchange, or with the working relationship that we had with the previous set-ups the FIA had in terms of race direction,”

“But from my point of view, the new set-up with Niels, and also with Eduardo, had a very good start going into this new era of Formula 1.

“Niels is quite straightforward in terms of making sure that the rules get enforced. He’s also quite straightforward in terms of getting across what he’s expecting, and that’s what I personally like.

“At the same time, he’s always available for a dialogue and for constructive input as well if you think things need to be reconsidered.

“When I look now how these first races went, I think we are in a good place,” he concluded.