Lewis Hamilton Calls Out 'Unnecessary' FIA Jewelry Rules: 'Almost a Step Backward'May 6, 2022
Formula One racing star Lewis Hamilton spoke out Friday against the FIA policy that limits drivers from wearing jewelry in their cars.
In an apparent protest of the rule, Hamilton wore numerous necklaces, rings and bracelets during a press conference for this weekend's Miami Grand Prix:
According to BBC's Andrew Benson, Hamilton called the rule "almost a step backward," and added: "It seems unnecessary to get into this. I am here to be an ally of the sport—we have bigger fish to fry."
New FIA race director Niels Wittich is the one behind the emphasis of the jewelry rule, which calls for drivers to refrain from wearing body piercings or neck chains during competition.
Per Benson, Hamilton said he had reached out to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem regarding the matter but hadn't yet received a response.
"I am willing to sign a waiver to take the responsibility away from them if necessary," the Briton said. "It is about individuality and being who you are.
"I did try calling Mohammed this morning and I think he was super busy, but I sent him a message. I wanted to reassure him and said: 'I want to be an ally. I don't want to fight with you guys over this.' ... It has never been a safety issue in the past. If they stop me, we have a spare driver. There are lots of things to do here."
Benson noted that Hamilton typically only wears earrings and a nose ring while in the car, and Hamilton said Friday that he can't remove them.
The 37-year-old Hamilton has a joint-record seven world drivers' championships in F1 and ranks first all-time with 103 race wins, 103 poles and 183 podium finishes.
After winning four consecutive drivers' titles, Hamilton finished second to Max Verstappen last year.
The Mercedes driver is off to a slow start this season with no wins and only one podium finish through four races. He is seventh in the standings.
On Sunday, Hamilton will look to get back on track in the first-ever Miami Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome.