Written by Diya Gohill, Edited by Will Stephens
The FIA have recently introduced new strict measures in regards to wearing jewellery on the track. The rule was already a part of their regulations for the last 17 years, but has not been strictly enforced. However, since the start of the Miami grand prix they have created potential new rules, where for offences they could potentially be fined up to 250,000 euros and even a loss of championship points.
The FIA have implemented this stricter measure as they believe jewellery to be a fire safety hazard, and the possibility of the jewellery getting caught or lodged in serious accidents which could prevent treatment or risk further injury.
However, there are drivers that have protested against the ban, including Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton wore 3 watches, and several chains around his neck during the Miami grand prix press conference in protest of the ban that has been put in place, questioning why it is suddenly being strictly implemented after 16 years. He stated the FIA has “bigger fish to fry” and that other than his earrings and nose ring which he cannot take out does not wear any other jewellery while driving in the car.
As a symbolic protest, Vettel wore his underwear over his driving suit, and even stated that he felt the ban was specifically “targeting” Hamilton. He believes that such decisions should be down to personal freedom and evaluation on one’s own personal safety.
In fact, despite complying to the new measures the FIA have brought on more strictly, Kevin Magnuessen stated it has gone too far that he has to even take off his wedding ring. Talking about how he would “take a little bit of extra burn“ on his finger to race in his wedding ring.
This clearly conveys the controversy surrounding the measures, and drivers questioning if jewellery has been allowed on for the last 16 years why was it not a safety concern back then and only now?