‘They’ll be staying’: Hamilton says he won’t comply with jewellery ban

Niels Wittich emphasised that drivers aren't allowed to wear jewellery while in the cockpit.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has indicated that he will be physically unable to comply with the regulations prohibiting drivers from wearing jewellery.

The rule was passed in 2005 to protect drivers in the event of their car catching fire following a crash, and it placed “an immediate ban on the wearing of jewellery (body piercing and heavy chains) by race and rally competitors.”

Niels Wittich is sharing the role of race director with Eduardo Freitas having taken over from the removed Michael Masi following the controversial events of the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi, and he has evidently observed in the first two rounds of this year that there is a lack of accordance with said legislation.

READ: Hamilton vows to wear more jewellery in Imola after FIA reiterates ban

As a result, he reminded the drivers ahead of the Australian Grand Prix weekend that jewellery is not to be worn inside the cockpit.

“The wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start,” he said in his notes.

He also emphasised that the drivers must wear fireproof underwear to try and avoid incidents such as Romain Grosjean’s at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2020, reportedly leading to a “verbal argument” during the drivers’ briefing.

Hamilton maintains that his jewellery is “personal” to him, and that a person’s uniqueness should not be inhibited by the stewards.

“I don’t have any plans on removing them. I feel there are personal things, you should be able to be who you are,” he said, as quoted by RaceFans.

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Hamilton then divulged that he wears jewellery that he cannot remove without breaking them, so he will be unable to fully comply with Wittich’s reminder.

“They’re stuff that I can’t move. I literally can’t even take these out – these ones in my right ear – they’re literally welded in, so I’d have to get them chopped off or something like that. So they’ll be staying,” he revealed.

During the weekend in Melbourne, Wittich also fined Sebastian Vettel 5,600 euros for a combination of unauthorised use of a scooter during practice, as well as speeding in the pitlane.

The German’s team-mate Lance Stroll, meanwhile, received three penalty points due to a crash with Nicholas Latifi during qualifying and weaving on the straight to defend against Valtteri Bottas.