Important to avoid ‘verbal abuse’ between Hamilton and the FIA

The FIA further asserted themselves on the jewellery debate ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.

Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) chairman Alex Wurz believes that the FIA is right to enforce the ban on jewellery being worn in the cockpit, but disagrees with the manner in which it was done.

On two occasions this season, the FIA has asked race director Niels Wittich to post a reminder in his pre-race notes that jewellery is not to be worn in the car, and that all clothing must be fire retardant.

It reportedly led to a minor altercation between Sir Lewis Hamilton and Wittich in Australia, but it all kicked off when the drivers were given their second reminder ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, especially since scrutineers now have the right to search the drivers before they step into the car.

READ: Hamilton says Mercedes have a ‘spare driver’ as he threatens to quit racing over FIA row

Hamilton’s retort came in the form of additional jewellery on his person in the press conference in Florida, and he affirmed that there are much greater and wider issues that the FIA should be addressing.

“It’s almost like a step backwards if you think about the steps we’re taking as a sport and the more important issues and causes we need to be focusing on,” he said.

“I think we’ve made such great strides as a sport… this is such a small thing.

“I’ve been in this sport for 16 years [and] I’ve been wearing jewellery for 16 years. In the car I only ever have my earrings on and my nose ring which I can’t even remove. 

“It’s about individuality and being who you are. I sent [bin Sulayem] a message just reassuring him that I want to be an ally. I don’t want to fight with you guys over this. This is very, very silly.”

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The seven-time champion emphasised that he did not want this to become a fight between himself and the governing body, but cannot understand why the new clampdown is necessary.

“I’ll try to communicate and work with Mohammed. I’m here to be an ally of Mohammed, of the sport and Formula 1, and as I said I think we’ve got bigger fish to fry,” he added.

Wurz disagrees with the notion that the ban is not needed – it was introduced in 2005 to save lives – but the former Benneton, McLaren and Williams driver believes that the FIA could have handled it with more grace.

READ: Russell praised for ‘reading the script’ and outracing Hamilton in Miami

“It is a rule for the right reasons,” he told Kronen Zeitung Newspaper.

“I would have probably liked a slightly different approach of how to deliver the message.

“I don’t want to end up in football where there are more hands in the air and verbal abuse… you have to work together. It’s a style I would have preferred in this case.”

Hamilton has been given until the Monaco Grand Prix to make his permanent fixtures removable, and he could possibly even face a ban if he does not.