Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lewis Hamilton faces Silverstone ban with Mercedes star set for FIA collision course again | F1 | Sport

Lewis Hamilton faces being prevented from racing at this weekend’s British Grand Prix over the FIA’s hardline stance on drivers wearing jewelery when behind the wheel. The 37-year-old is known for regularly sporting a nose stud and earrings during races and has taken exception to the FIA’s decision to enforce their firm view on the matter over the course of this season.

Hamilton was made to remove his earrings at the Miami Grand Prix earlier this year but claimed that he was unable to take out his nose stud due to the hole having closed up to the extent that it was impossible to do so. The FIA ​​gave him a deadline to resolve the issue which is set to expire on Thursday, meaning that he could be sensationally banned from competing at Silverstone if he does not comply.

The Mercedes driver was initially given a two-race medical exemption which covered him until the Monaco Grand Prix, at which point an extension was agreed by the relevant parties. If Hamilton decides against removing his nose stud when he takes to the cockpit for FP1 at Silverstone on Friday, the worst-case scenario could see him banned from racing until he is able to take his jewelery out.

A number of alternative options will be available to the stewards, though, including reprimands or fines. It remains to be seen whether Hamilton will be able to comply with the FIA’s demands or if he will face the unfortunate prospect of being prevented from racing at his home Grand Prix when the on-track action gets underway on Friday.

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Hamilton is not the only driver on the F1 grid to wear jewelery on a regular basis but is certainly the most high-profile and it has been suggested by many onlookers that he is being specifically targeted by the FIA’s hardline view on the rule, which has been in place for almost 20 years. He recently criticized the organization’s stance on drivers wearing jewelery by insisting that it had been blown out of proportion before admitting that he would be willing to reach a compromise that suits all parties.

“I feel almost like it’s a step backwards,” Hamilton told reporters at the Miami Grand Prix. “If you think of the steps we are taking as a sport and the most important issues and causes we need to be focused on, I think we’ve made such great strides as a sport [but] this is such a small thing.

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“I’ve been in the sport for 16 years, I’ve been wearing jewelery for 16 years. In the car I only have my earrings on and my nose ring, which I can’t even remove. It seems unnecessary for us to get into this spat.

“I’ll try to communicate and work with Mohammed [Ben Sulayem, FIA president]I’m here to be an ally of the sport, of Mohammed and of Formula One, and I think we’ve got bigger fish to fry, bigger things to do, more impact to have, so I think that’s really where the focus should be.”

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