Formula one stars have been given an exception to continue to wear jewelry in their cars until the end of June, with further discussion between the driver and the FIA will take place over the following month.
The FIA has enforced its International Sporting Code more strictly so far this season, clamping down on the wearing of piercings and chains in both the Australia and Miami Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton was very angry with the move, but the British had been told that he would be able to wear his nose for the next three races after FIA leaders expanded their exceptions of their rules.
Lewis Hamilton, whose piercing is not easily removable, called the potential ban ‘unnecessary’ and a ‘step backwards’ after new F1 race director Niels Wittich looked to bring in the changes.
‘When they [the FIA] told me about the jewellery, they were saying safety is everything,’ the seven-time world champion said earlier this month.
‘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?”
‘I feel like it’s almost like a step backwards, if you think about the steps we are taking as a sport, and the more important causes that we need to be focused on.
‘I think we have made a very great step as a sport. This is a small thing. ”
However, FIA has now provided an exception to regulations for the next three races to allow dialogue between drivers and medical staff about this problem to continue.
The latter are trying to find a way for regulations in Appendix L of the ISC concerning jewellery to be enforced in a safe manner, with discussions taking place after a recent drivers’ briefing in Spain.
There is an uncertainty about which items are deemed safe and unsafe in cars, nevertheless, including wedding rings.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen said on Thursday: ‘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.
Though when faced with a potential fine, Magnussen didn’t hesitate to remove his wedding ring since rules were enforced more strictly after the Miami GP.
‘I took it off once they said there was a €50,000 fine,’ he said. ‘That’s it – I put it right in my drawer! Not gonna take the risk.’
Despite criticism from drivers, Alex Wurz, chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, recently backed the FIA’s stance on jewellery in the cockpit.
While urging the governing body to enforce it in a more collaborative manner, Wurz branded it ‘a rule for the right reasons’.