Mercedes fined for Hamilton's nose ring

01/10/2022
NEWS STORY

Mercedes has been fined €25,000 for failing to declaring Lewis Hamilton's nose ring in Singapore.

While the world's media focusses on the budget cap row, Lewis Hamilton and his team were hauled before the stewards after the seven-time world champion was seen sporting a nose ring, which is in breach of the International Sporting Code.

Broadcast footage showed the seven-time world champion wearing the nose ring during FP3, the Briton claiming that he had been advised by his doctors not to remove it for the time being.

In response to a request by the stewards, Mercedes produced reports from a medical practitioner which confirmed Hamilton's explanation.

The stewards then consulted the FIA Deputy Medical Delegate, Dr Ian Roberts, who viewed the medical report and concurred with the opinion, and in light of the extenuating circumstances determined to take no further action.

However, as required by Article 31.1 of the Sporting Regulations, prior to FP1 Mercedes submitted a self-scrutiny form for Hamilton by which they declared that the driver complied with the requirement not to wear jewellery in the form of body piercing. Clearly the declaration was incorrect.

Mercedes explained that the team was unaware Hamilton had a piercing due to the fact that in recent events he had removed the piercing prior to the competition.

The German team therefore assumed, without checking with Hamilton that he had followed or would follow the same procedure for this event.

While the stewards accepted that the error in the declaration was not intentional or deliberate, it would not have occurred had the team asked its driver before completing and submitting the declaration.

As a result the team was fined €25,000.

Asked about the nose ring, Hamilton was adamant that he was not seeking to make a statement following the FIA's decision to clamp down on the practice of wearing jewellery.

"Obviously I've had my jewellery and my nose stud for years, and we had the whole commotion at the beginning of the year," he told reporters.

"At the time it was like soldered in so it didn't come loose," he added. "They gave me, at the time, for many races, an exemption until I could find a solution. I then went and got it taken out and tried to find a solution, and put it in and put it out and it got infected because of that.

"I was just continuing on with this infection and I had a blood blister and I was going on about it so just had quite a sore on my nose. This is all stuff I've told them before qualifying.

"Then I went back and had to have, disgustingly, the blood blister fixed because there was like pus and blood and stuff. And then I put this in and the last two weeks it started to heal and they've asked that I keep it in."

Asked about the FIA's claim that the ring represented a risk in the event of fire, Hamilton replied: I was just saying to Charles (Leclerc) one of the excuses that I was given a long time ago was about heat and if you're in a fire, metal conducts heat. But our zip is metal, our buckle around our helmet is metal, the wires that we have have metal in there. So it's a little bit silly.

"Hopefully they'll be sensible. The stewards should be there to keep us safe, most importantly, but this is not a safety issue."

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Published: 01/10/2022
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