A number of drivers have recently supported Sir Lewis Hamilton in his disagreement with the FIA regarding the tightening of rules surrounding the wearing of jewellery and accessories when racing.
The British driver called the FIA’s decision to clamp down on jewellery despite other ongoing global issues as a “step backwards”.
In retaliation of this, Hamilton arrived to Friday’s Miami Grand Prix press conference glittered in jewellery, including eight rings and three watches.
Under the tightened rules, body piercings must also be removed, something which Hamilton has in his nose and ears.
The British driver incredibly suggested that Mercedes may have to turn to a reserve driver in the future, should Hamilton be banned from racing for failing to remove some of his “unremovable” piercings.
The FIA have given the seven-time world champion two rounds to remove his piercings, the first of those was the inaugural Miami Grand Prix where he finished sixth.
At the press conference, other drivers were questioned as to what their opinion was on the matter.
Many drivers, including Pierre Gasly, explained how he felt sympathetic for the British driver, the Frenchman was also appreciative of the FIA and hopes a better solution can be found.
“At the end of the day, we have the responsibility to go out there, put our life at risk and I do feel it should be a personal choice, but I respect the FIA and their will to always improve the safety,” he said.
“But I’d appreciate a talk with them to see if we can find a better solution than such a strict kind of decision as they made, so we’ll see what we can do.
“I do understand, I do. I do believe there are bigger things to focus on, and I appreciate the FIA looking after our safety. That’s also their priority and our priority.”
Gasly himself wears accessories when racing, with his having a personal religious meaning.
The AlphaTauri driver feels that the FIA’s clamping down is “a little bit personal”.
“In my personal case, I have also religious items that I wear with me when I’m racing, which are important to me, which I don’t feel comfortable not having with me driving the car, and I do feel it’s a little bit personal.
“We should have the freedom to do what feels right for us.”
Sergio Pérez was another driver who demonstrated support for Hamilton, the Mexican driver is hopeful a compromise can be made regarding the situation.
“It’s good from the FIA point of view to look after our safety because, at the end of the day, it’s for us.
“But, like Lewis said, he’s been in this sport for so many years and he’s been doing it, and he already has them [the jewellery/piercings] with him, so it’s not that easy to remove them.
“I think it would be good to find a compromise to work together with them [the FIA], and just make sure that we are all in the same line and not against each other. I think that will be the important thing.” explained the Red Bull driver.
Williams driver Alex Albon, who scored yet more points in Miami, echoed Gasly’s and Pérez’ points.
The Thai driver believes that in some disciplines people have to be prepared to make changes to do what they desire, or risk facing punishment.
“I still agree with Lewis’ comments. I understand,” he said.
“It’s our bodies at the same time as well, so, kind of like [with] everything when you’re older, you’re prepared to have [those] consequences if you want to do what you want to do. You have a freedom to yourself.”