FIERY Lewis Hamilton once again vowed to keep wearing his nose stud – then hit out at the FIA’s hypocrisy as the jewellery row escalated.
But now the British driver could be in hot water and hit with a whopping fine and potential ban.
Lewis Hamilton had his nose stud in for qualifying on Saturday – and plans to keep itCredit: AFP
Hamilton is desperate to keep his bling on while driving and insists it has caused no problems in the last 16 years of racing.
But the FIA are determined to enforce stricter punishments for wearing jewellery – claiming the metal poses a safety threat in the case of a fire.
Hamilton removed all his accessories except the nose stud and one other in an undisclosed part of the body for Miami Grand Prix practice on Friday and was handed a two-race exemption to get them out, although he insists those are permanently fixed in.
And in the latest developments, Hamilton refused to back down and highlighted the inconsistency because wedding rings are allowed in Formula One.
Speaking after Saturday’s qualifying in Florida, the seven-time world champ said: “This whole safety thing, man.
“When they [the FIA] told me about the jewellery, they said safety is everything.
“And I said, ‘Well, what’s happened over the last 16 years? I’ve had jewellery for the last 16 years, so was safety not an issue back then?'”
Asked whether he was satisfied with their resolution and then taking his nose stud out, he continued: “No. No.
“I got an exemption here, I’ll get an exemption for the rest of the year. Wedding rings are allowed.
“I’ll wear four watches next time [in Monaco].”
Hamilton added he would be prepared to sign a waiver clearing the FIA of any responsibility should jewellery cause him any injury while driving.
But his continued stance could land Hamilton with a hefty fee to pay.
As reported by The Telegraph, drivers can be fined £42,000 for wearing jewellery and repeat offences could see that number rise to £215,000.
The struggling Stevenage star – who wore three watches, eight rings, four necklaces, one bracelet, two earrings and the nose stud to his Friday press conference – threatened to pull out of today’s race over the issue.
He starts the Miami GP around the Hard Rock Stadium and fake marina sixth on the grid alongside former team-mate Valtteri Bottas in fifth with George Russell back in 12th.
Championship-leader Charles Leclerc is on pole with Ferrari pal Carlos Sainz securing a front-row lockout for the Scuderia ahead of the two Red Bulls.
Tonight’s race gets underway at 8.30pm BST live on Sky Sports F1.
Hamilton begins the Miami GP sixth on the gridCredit: Getty
The British driver wore as much jewellery as he could to Friday’s press conference in defiance of the FIACredit: Splash