Hamilton won’t remove piercings even after exemption

Jon Wilde
Lewis Hamilton with piercings visible. Miami May 2022.

Lewis Hamilton with piercings visible while being interviewed. Miami May 2022.

Lewis Hamilton is remaining defiant about his piercings despite the recent furore over the FIA’s clampdown on drivers’ jewellery.

Along with an insistence that racers wear the correct standard of fire-resistant underwear in the cockpit, jewellery has become part of the F1 scrutineering procedure.

Essentially, drivers are forbidden to wear ‘bling’ while on track for safety reasons – but Hamilton says for him, it is not as simple as removing his earrings and nose stud and then putting them back in afterwards.

The seven-time former World Champion had said in Australia he would have to “chop my ear off” to be separated from the rings he has in that part of his anatomy, while at the start of the Miami Grand Prix weekend he described the crackdown as “an unnecessary spat” on the FIA’s part.

Lewis Hamilton points to his earrings. Miami May 2022
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton points to his earrings. Miami May 2022

Subsequently, it emerged the Mercedes driver had been given a two-race medical exemption for his nose stud, which also cannot easily be taken out. That grace period covered the Miami and Spanish Grands Prix.

Therefore, by the start of the Monaco weekend on May 27, Hamilton would be breaching the rules if he wore jewellery while driving, potentially incurring a fine or penalty points on his super-licence.

Having worn three wristwatches at a Miami press conference and a ring on every finger of his left hand, Hamilton was asked whether he would remove his nose stud.

“No,” he said, quoted by the PA news agency. “I got an exemption here and I will get exemptions for the rest of the year. Wedding rings are allowed. I will wear four watches next time.”

The jewellery ban is nothing new in F1 but is only now being actively enforced, with new race director Niels Wittich and FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem at the forefront of that move.

“This whole safety thing, man,” added Hamilton, whose Formula 1 career began in 2007.

“When they told me about the jewellery, they said safety is everything. And I said ‘well, what’s happened for the last 16 years? I’ve had jewellery on for 16 years, so was safety not an issue back then?’”


Hamilton’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes, however, an understanding will be reached.

“What was needed was a dialogue between Lewis and Mohammed,” said the Austrian.

“It is clear regulations are here to protect the drivers, but on the other side we need diversity and the means of expressing yourself and we know this is important to Lewis.

“Without going into detail – where the piercings stayed and where they didn’t – I’m sure they will come to a good resolution.”


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