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FIA clamps down on jewellery and underwear

NEWS STORY
09/04/2022

As the new race directors make their presence felt, drivers are reminded of the rules relating to jewellery and underwear.

As the Melbourne weekend got underway, in his initial note to the teams race director Niels Wittich referred to Appendix L, Chapter III, 5 Wearing of jewellery.

"The wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and my therefore be checked before the start," he reminded the teams.

While it made for jokey comments in the media and at the drivers press conference, it was clear that the FIA meant business. Indeed, in a follow up, Wittich advised drivers that the rules regarding underwear were also to be enforced, warning that only underwear that complies with the FIA's regulations will be allowed.

Appendix L of the International Sporting Code, notes that drivers must wear fireproof underwear which adheres to the governing body's strict standards, and that underwear which doesn't meet those standards is not allowed.

Indeed, in 2018 Audi Formula E driver Lucas di Grass was fined €10,000 for wearing underwear that was not compliant with the code.

"It was quite a long discussion," said Oscar Piastri of last night's driver briefing, "and a few people have changed some of their underwear protocols.

"It's a contentious topic," he told Sky Sports, "because you're going commando if you're not wearing your own."

In terms of the jewellery and the underwear, the FIA has given the drivers a couple of events before the clamp down begins.

"I've got certain piercings that I really just can't take out that not many people know of," joked Lewis Hamilton at yesterday's press conference.

"No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding!" he quickly added.

"I will be too heavy if I wear jewellery," responded Max Verstappen, "so it's not possible."

"I know you have a nipple-piercing, man," laughed Hamilton. "Come on."

"You want to see it again?" joked Verstappen.

Christian Horner, who described the driver briefing as "entertaining", when asked about the directives, replied: "I've yet to meet the race director. Obviously they are doing the best job they can with the rules they have, but there needs to be an element of common sense.

"We need to come up with a way to simplify some of these regulations," he added. "There were too many penalties in practice one, on a circuit that is relatively new and so on. You don't want to be too overzealous, I would think."

Meanwhile, the FIA has also outlawed that safety car restart tactics that Verstappen has taken advantage of in recent events by pulling alongside his rivals ahead of the restarts.

In his updated event notes, Wittich draws attention to Article 55.14 of the sporting regulations.

"In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart."

While it has become common for drivers to jostle for position in recent races Verstappen has become the most flagrant practitioner, most notably against Hamilton in Abu Dhabi, but also in the races in Bahrain and Jeddah where he made similar moves on Charles Leclerc.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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1. Posted by USA1, 09/04/2022 15:41

"Please let’s go back to racing how it’s supposed to be like early 90’s no track limits, no DRS, none of this stuff just pure old racing and may the best driver win, I would love to see a budget cap on the cars only and leave everything else open but I guess I have to keep on dreaming 😴 "

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