Lewis Hamilton has said he has no intention of removing his nose stud – and the FIA will “have to deal with it”.
The Mercedes driver is back in the spotlight of the ongoing war on jewellery-wearing the FIA have embarked upon during 2022.
Earlier this year, the governing body stated their intent to enforce the rules in the International Sporting Code banning the wearing of jewellery by drivers while on track – the drivers’ teams are required to sign off a scrutineering form confirming their drivers are not wearing any jewellery.
The furore regarding the ban faded away during the middle part of the season as the drivers obeyed the rules, but the situation has come to the fore again in Singapore.
Hamilton is well known for wearing a stud on the left side of his nose, but had recently been removing the stud when driving his Mercedes W13 on track. However, he wore the stud during the final practice session on Saturday – triggering an immediate summons from the stewards.
Hamilton wearing the stud also resulted in a team representative being called up before the stewards, due to an “inaccurate self-scrutineering form” submitted that would have declared Hamilton as being jewellery-free.
It was later announced the FIA would take no further action against Hamilton personally, their statement saying the 37-year-old driver “had been advised by his doctors not to remove [the piercing] for the time being” with Mercedes having produced a report to back that up.
Due to these “extenuating circumstances” and following a consultation with Dr Ian Roberts, the FIA Deputy Medical Delegate, Hamilton himself was cleared – but Mercedes were fined 25,000 euros for the inaccurate self-scrutineering form.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff wryly replying to Sky F1’s question about the situation: “I don’t know, I’ve lost track of piercings…let’s see what the stewards say.”
Speaking to Sky F1 himself after qualifying in third place on Saturday in Singapore, Hamilton was asked about why he has reversed his stance on obeying the FIA rules.
“I was getting…it got infected loads of times, but I was trying to find a solution,” he explained.
“I went back to the clinic and that’s the best way for it to heal.”
As for whether he has any concerns about what the stewards might think about the breach of the Sporting Code, Hamilton smiled.
“For me, it’s a health part,” he said.
“So that’s the way it’s gonna stay and they will have to deal with it.”
Joining the fight for pole position in Singapore
Hamilton was one of the stars of the final part of qualifying in Singapore, ending the session less than a tenth of a second away from pole position as he qualified in third place – having set the early pace on the slick tyres.
“I was pushing so hard, it was so so close,” he said.
“I was trying so hard. I really thought ‘maybe, maybe, with a perfect lap I could have fought for first place’.
“It was really hard to get, I just didn’t have the grip on the last lap. But nonetheless, I’m grateful to be on the second row and I’m grateful to the team for continuing to push and we just keep our heads down. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.
“We knew the car would be stronger than it was in Monza. But we didn’t know how close we would be.”