Niels Wittich, one of Formula 1’s new race directors, has felt the need to remind drivers not to wear jewellery during track sessions.
After Michael Masi’s departure following the controversial end to last season, Wittich has joined Eduardo Freitas as a race director with the duo alternating in the role.
For round three of the 2022 World Championship, the Australian Grand Prix, it is Wittich on duty and the German has included the warning about drivers’ jewellery in his event notes.
— FIA (@fia) April 7, 2022
There is nothing new in the ruling, it has merely been mentioned as a reminder because some drivers are reported to have been spotted wearing items of ‘bling’ while in their cars.
The issue is, of course, related to safety, just in case any piece of jewellery caused injury to the driver in a collision.
The relevant note in the FIA’s International Sporting Code reads: “The wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start.”
Of course, the ruling only applies to when drivers are in track action and not around the paddock.
Lewis Hamilton, for example, who is often seen putting on his watch in parc ferme after a qualifying session or race as part of his routine after getting out of the car, has been photographed wearing a nose stud while driving his Mercedes – including at this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
That particular item falls foul of the ban but any breach of the ruling would be more likely to incur a driver a fine rather than a sporting penalty.
First instigated in 2005, the ruling is reported by The Telegraph to have had “lots of instances” where drivers have failed to comply and is not aimed at any specific individual.