Sir Lewis Hamilton is not sure why it has taken 17 years for the FIA to start clamping down on the wearing of jewellery in the car amid the continued debate in Formula 1.
The regulation was introduced in 2005 when Red Bull drivers Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi both wore ear piercings and, while the Austrian did not mind taking his off during sessions, Liuzzi affirmed that they would have to “cut my ear off” to make him adhere to the ruling.
The rule is in place to prevent the spreading of a fire in the event of a crash, as well as easy removal of the helmet and balaclava should marshals and medics need to do so.
Race director Niels Wittich also cited “medical imaging,” saying that metallic objects can delay diagnosis.
Hamilton said ahead of the Miami Grand Prix that the sport has “bigger fish to fry” at the moment, but he has been given an exemption until the Monaco Grand Prix to make the piercings on his ears and nose removeable.
The seven-time champion defiantly said that he would “wear four watches next time” after having three on his arm in Miami, and he does not understand why FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has decided to enforce the regulation 17 years after its arrival.
“This whole safety thing, man,” he told PA.
“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?’”
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen can see where the governing body is coming from regarding jewellery, but would hate to have to remove his wedding ring during races.
“I understand what they are they saying, but it is a wedding ring around your finger,” he said.
“I’ll take a little bit of extra burn on my finger to race in my wedding ring. And if something was going to happen, something bad, I would want to wear my wedding ring. It kind of feels bad to take it off.
“With something like that, like your wedding ring. Let us take that responsibility. There must be somehow to remove liability.”
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel said in Florida that Hamilton was being “targeted” by the FIA in their quest to ban jewellery.