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Lewis Hamilton blasts FIA over body piercing crackdown

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. –

Seven-time formula one champion Lewis Hamilton protested the FIA’s crackdown on body piercing on Friday by appearing at the Miami Grand Prix wearing every piece of jewelry he could wear. people and suggested he was willing to sit out the race on this issue.

Hamilton hit the lawn in an all-denim outfit with several buttons open on a long-sleeve shirt with at least four stacked collars. Hamilton was later seen wearing at least three watches and with four rings on each hand. He also has earrings and a ring on his nose.

“I can’t buy any more jewelry today,” he said.

The FIA ​​on Thursday tightened its ban on unregulated underwear and body piercings as new race director Niels Wittich issued a bulletin making the rule part of the official oversight process, which means such options must be considered by race officials.

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel said he thought the FIA ​​was petty and wondered if the law would target Hamilton, the 37-year-old Mercedes driver from England. Vettel also made the exception with the underwear test and walked across the lawn in a pair of briefs over his firefighting suit.

“I think it’s a bit unnecessary to blow this topic up and perhaps at this stage being a more personal matter, I feel there is a specific way of being targeted at Lewis,” Vettel said. . “In a way, there is a safety concern, obviously if you have stuff and the car catches on fire. To some extent, there is personal freedom, and we are old enough to make our own choices.”

Hamilton said when he was in the car “I only have my earrings and my nose ring, I can’t take it off.”

Hamilton said he sent FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem a message before arriving at the racetrack noting that the jewelry fight seemed silly and that “I don’t want to fight you guys”. But it also seems prepared to stand its ground.

Hamilton said: “If they stop me, so be it. “We have a backup driver ready and ready for the weekend. There’s a lot going on in the city anyway, so I’ll do well either way. ”

Not long after, Hamilton was seen arriving at the Mercedes hotel area wearing only a watch and a ring on his hand. By the time he arrived at the track for his first practice, Mercedes had filed mandatory documents with the FIA ​​claiming Hamilton had removed all the jewelry he could. He was given a temporary exemption from his piercing.

Formula 1 racing governing body says the main issue is safety. It said riders could be subject to pre-competition screening as “wearing jewelry under mandatory fire-resistant clothing may reduce the protective ability of this equipment.”

“Metallic objects, such as jewelry, in contact with the skin can reduce heat transfer protection and therefore may increase the risk of burns in the event of a fire,” the FIA ​​wrote. “Wearing jewelry during competition can interfere with medical interventions as well as later diagnosis and treatment if it is required following an accident.”

The FIA ​​says jewelry can get stuck during emergency removal from a car and can also complicate or delay the medical imaging process.

“In a worst-case scenario, the presence of jewelry during photography could cause further injury,” the FIA ​​wrote. “Jewelry in and/or around the airways may pose specific additional risks if it is dislodged in an accident and swallowed or inhaled.”

Hamilton has pushed back since the FIA ​​first announced a potential crackdown and said Friday he would sign a disclaimer. He said he has worn his bling while competing for 16 years in F1 with no problems, and has also undergone many medical photo sessions as well as wearing his jewelry.

“It’s platinum that I have, so it’s not magnetic. “It has never been a safety issue in the past,” Hamilton said. “In 16 years, I’ve had multiple MRI scans and never had to take out the platinum because it’s not easy.”

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