Lewis Hamilton has admitted he was “f***ing” with the FIA over complying with their jewellery ban rules. The seven-time champion revealed he made up that he had hidden piercings as he doesn’t like being told what to do.
His comments come after Vanity Fair asked the Mercedes star about his Miami press conference. During the session, Hamilton donned three watches and dozens of rings after being warned about wearing such items in the cockpit of his car.
He was also covered in silver chains to make a statement during the weekend when the ban came into effect. The seven-time champion explained: “I just put on as much as I could.”
Hamilton has previously claimed he could not remove two of his piercings and one he “can’t really explain where it is”. However, Hamilton accepts this was a lie to provoke the FIA after introducing the crackdown.
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The tactic appeared to work as Hamilton was given a range of exemptions after making a fuss over removing his jewellery. It meant Hamilton was allowed to wear items past the jewellery ban for an extra five races until this ended ahead of the British Grand Prix weekend.
He said: “I was just f***ing with it. I don’t have any other piercings anywhere. But I love that there’s this thinking: S***, has he got his balls pierced?” Shaking his head, Hamilton added: “Since I was a kid – rules. I’ve never loved being told what to do.”
Hamilton was critical of the FIA’s clampdown ahead of the races in Miami and Monaco. He explained: “It’s almost like a step backwards, if you think about the steps we’re taking as a sport and the more important issues and causes we need to be focusing on.
“I think we’ve made such great strides as a sport… this is such a small thing.”
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However, many drivers threw their support behind Hamilton with Sebastian Vettel even accusing the FIA of personally attacking the Mercedes driver. Vettel added: “Probably at this stage, it is more of a personal thing and I feel, in a way, [it is] particularly targeted to Lewis.”
New race director Niels Wittich claimed the FIA were clamping down on jewellery for safety reasons. He claimed jewellery in competition can “hinder medical interventions” in the event of an accident.
They added: “The presence of jewellery can slow the emergency removal of driver safety equipment such as helmet, balaclava, and overalls.”