Lewis Hamilton has been warned that wearing jewellery risks “years of agony” as the FIA prepare to crack down on the issue. Rules over drivers’ jewellery have already been in place for several years, but motorsport bosses are now keen to ensure they aren’t being ignored.
At the Australian Grand Prix last month, race director Niels Wittich reminded drivers they couldn’t wear jewellery or personal pieces of underwear beneath their fireproof overalls. Hamilton has been given until the Monaco Grand Prix to make sure he isn’t breaking the rules. But the Briton has vowed to keep his jewellery on and will instead ask for an exemption to be granted for the rest of the season.
And Grand Prix Drivers’ Association chairman Alex Wurz thinks Hamilton is making a mistake. The 48-year-old has sided with the FIA as he insisted the rules are there to protect drivers. And the Austrian has recalled a story where inappropriate clothing led to prolonged suffering.
Wurz spoke about a talk given by Danish racer Kris Nissen in 1988 following a crash at Fuji, where the driver was burned. And the incident could serve as a warning to Hamilton. “He showed his body and said, ‘look at this,’” Wurz explained. “For him the absolute most painful thing after fire, and it wasn’t a long fire, was the rubber in his normal pants being burnt into the skin. He said it was for years agony and pain. And it educated me.
“At this moment I said I don’t want to live these consequences, only for not taking my pants off and putting fireproof underpants on – the same with jewellery. It is a rule for the right reasons.
But Wurz believes the FIA could have implemented the rules by making their request in a different way. “I would have probably liked a slightly different approach of how to deliver the message,” he added. “I don’t want to end up in football where there are more hands in the air and verbal abuse – you have to work together. It’s a style I would have preferred in this case.”