Lewis Hamilton has received an unlikely supporter in his row with the FIA over the jewellery clampdown. Formula 1’s governing body has insisted that drivers should wear no jewellery while in the car, a rule that has not gone down well with the seven-time world champion.
The Mercedes driver is a fashion icon, and is known to sport a good amount of jewellery on his person during a race weekend. The FIA’s new rule bans drivers from wearing them while in the car, which has proven problematic for Hamilton, who sports some permanent piercings – like his nose ring, which if removed will require surgery.
Hamilton protested the FIA’s clampdown at the Miami Grand Prix by sporting an excessive number of chains and rings, while even wearing three watches. A number of drivers have come out in support of the Briton, but a few believe the FIA have done the right thing by implementing a rule that has been present for a number of years but not enforced.
The 36-year-old has now received support from an unlikely source – Dr. Helmut Marko. The Red Bull Racing advisor believes wearing jewellery is a personal choice for the drivers, and one that should not be interfered with by the governing body.
“I think they have gone too far,” Marko, who has been a staunch rival of Mercedes, said, as quoted by GrandPx News.
“This should be a personal decision of the drivers. I don’t remember how long Hamilton has been in F1, but he’s been wearing this jewellery all these years. So why did they suddenly decide to invent this topic?”
“I think we have enough other things to worry about,” the 78-year-old added. “We must accept and respect the individuality of each driver. Do I side with Hamilton? Yes I do, and this is my honest opinion.”
Hamilton has been given until the Monaco Grand Prix next weekend to comply with the rules and get rid of all his permanent piercings, even if it requires a surgical procedure to do so. There is a possibility that the British racer will incur heavy fines if he fails to comply, but also faces the prospect of being banned from racing at the Principality.