MELBOURNE — Formula One’s crackdown on jewelry ban regulations didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton from sporting earrings and a nose piercing for last Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
“These on my right ear are literally welded on so I would have to cut them off or something. So they will stay,” Hamilton shared recently.
The seven-time world champion was one of 20 athletes from the sport who sat down for what Hamilton called the ‘longest driver briefing’ ever – two hours, to be exact – to discuss the stricter application of FIA rules.
Drivers have been banned from wearing body piercings or metal neck chains since 2004, but the rule has never been properly enforced. Besides jewelry, wearing certain underwear is also prohibited.
“I think there are personal things and you should be able to be who you are,” Hamilton said. “And I will continue to do so…I don’t really understand the little things they pick up on.”
The Mercedes driver, 37, whose star power has extended beyond sport and fashion, also joked at a press conference that he has secret piercings that only a few know about .
“I have several piercings that I really can’t get out, that not many people know about,” Hamilton laughed.
“Since I’ve been here in F1 it’s been the rule, so it’s nothing new. I’m just going to offer more jewelry next week.
Hamilton also had a cheeky exchange with 24-year-old Max Verstappen, the reigning world champion.
“I would be too heavy with that,” said the Dutchman when asked about the jewelry ban.
Hamilton joked in response, “I know you got a nipple piercing, man”, to which Verstappen joked, “Want to see him again?”
Beyond jewellery, Formula 1 officials have also cracked down on the wearing of flame retardant underwear under drivers’ racing suits.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly said he was unsure how the FIA intended to enforce the rule.
“I will not comment on that. If they want to check my ass, don’t hesitate, I have nothing to hide,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has joked he won’t comply with the question.
“I certainly won’t be checking our drivers’ underwear,” he said.
“I am reliably informed that our drivers are going on a commando. I hope it won’t be a problem for them… I understand it was an entertaining briefing for the pilots.
Formula 1 arrives in the United States for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix on May 8.