Lewis Hamilton has said he will continue wearing jewellery during races after the FIA reiterated their demands for drivers to be free it when in the car.
Hamilton responded to their highlighting of the rules and says he has no plans of taking his off any time soon saying: “you should be able to be who you are.”
The announcement came just before the Australian GP, when F1’s governing body reinforced the rule, with new race director Niels Wittich saying that “body piercing or metal neck chains” would not be allowed and that drivers will be checked before races from now on.
Despite this, Hamilton competed in Sunday’s race with piercings in both ears and a nose stud saying there are certain things he can’t remove.
Speaking after the race in Melbourne where he finished in fourth, Hamilton said: “I don’t have any plans on removing them.
“I feel they are personal things. You should be able to be who you are. There’s stuff that I can’t move.
“I literally can’t take these out [pointing to piercings on his right ear].
“They’re literally welded on so I’d have to get them chopped off or something. So they’ll be staying.”
According to officials, the rules on body piercings have been in place since 2004, and although it has been very rarely mentioned over the years, Wittich decided to highlight it in his pre-race notes for the Australian GP.
He said the law is there to protect the driver by not slowing them down in the midst of a speedy escape from their machinery in the case of an accident or malfunction.
It has yet to be seen whether or not Hamilton will be fined or docked points for the ongoing rule break, but Sky Sports has reported that for now, there will be a grace period.
The FIA are allegedly waiting to see if Hamilton’s will change his mind as the season progresses before bringing in any premature action on the matter.