Underwear placed under scrutiny from FIA

Henry Valantine
An FIA scrutineering point. Barcelona February 2022.

An FIA scrutineering point. Barcelona February 2022.

As part of their scrutineering process, the FIA have expressed the need for drivers to wear fireproof underwear as part of their racing attire.

The news comes hot on the heels of joint race director Niels Wittich reiterating the rule introduced in 2005 that drivers are not allowed to wear jewellery while in the cockpit, as part of his pre-race notes in Australia, in case any items of jewellery cause injury during collisions.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were able to laugh off questions about it in their pre-race press conference, and the subject is said to have caused something of a stir in Friday’s drivers’ briefing – when the drivers were also reminded of their duty to wear fire-retardant underwear while driving.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was asked if the FIA race directing team is being too picky when it comes to applying the rules, but largely brushed off concerns on that side of things.

“I certainly won’t be checking our drivers’ underwear,” exclaimed Horner, quoted by GPFans.

“For compliance, I see that as a team manager role, although I’m reliably informed our drivers go commando! Hopefully, it won’t be an issue for them.

“I’ve yet to meet the race director. Obviously they are doing the best job they can with the rules they have.

“I understand it was an entertaining drivers’ briefing yesterday. In the interests of weight-saving, whether you are losing jewellery or underwear at the moment is quite helpful for us.”

But when it comes to issuing fines and reprimands, Horner takes a different view and thinks “common sense” needs to be a part of the decision-making process in different circumstances.

Sebastian Vettel branded the decision by the FIA to issue him a €5,000 fine for riding a scooter around the track as a “joke”, and several reprimands have already been issued in Australia this weekend – including two for Yuki Tsunoda alone.

As per the FIA sporting regulations, drivers receive a 10-place grid penalty if they get five reprimands over the course of a championship, but the Red Bull boss thinks hitting them in their wallets is a more effective punishment to deter further offences.

“I think it’s something the drivers actually requested, but there needs to be an element of common sense,” said Horner.


“Too many penalties in an FP1…the biggest thing as a deterrent for the drivers is a fine. That tends to be what hurts them the most, so maybe we should look at fines rather than reprimands and potential grid penalties.

“You don’t want to be over-zealous in P1 on a circuit that is relatively new.

“It’s something that’s discussed at great length in the various meetings. We just need to come up with something to simplify some of these regulations.”


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Sebastian Vettel was hit with a fine for riding a moped in Melbourne, and he wasn't best pleased.