Toto Wolff sets requirement for FIA president after phone call with Lewis Hamilton
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Lewis Hamilton has been outspoken on the F1’s jewellery ban in place for this season and Toto Wolff feels the FIA president Mohammed bin Sulayem just needs to have more “dialogue” with the British racing superstar to find a resolution. Hamilton made a statement in his Friday press conference on the F1’s jewellery ban by wearing three watches along with a number of rings and chains.
It was the latest move by Hamilton in which he lashed out at the FIA’s recent jewellery ban. F1’s new race director Niels Wittich has pushed for a clampdown on new regulations in place this season.
The prohibition of drivers wearing jewellery while driving has been in place since 2004, but Wittich has seemingly made a point to bring the rule to the fore this season. The move has led to strong fightback from Hamilton, who has jewellery in his ear and nose.
Hamilton has since backed down on his stance by agreeing to take out some of his piercings for the Miami Grand Prix. He’s also been given a two-race “grace period” to allow him to remove any piercings that are more difficult to remove.
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Wittich is said to be supported by Bin Sulayem in his decision to bring the jewellery ban to the fore. Hamilton reportedly had a conversation with the FIA president this week to discuss the matter, and Wolff insists that is all the F1 chief needs to do moving forward.
“I think what was needed was a dialogue between Lewis and Mohammed,” Wolff said. “It is clear that the regulations are here to protect the drivers but on the other side, we need to keep the possibility of diversity and the means of expressing yourself.
“We know that this is important for Lewis so yesterday, without going into detail where the piercings stayed or did not, I’m sure they will come to a good resolution.” The topic has also been raised with other drivers on the grid and Sebastian Vettel feels Hamilton is being singled out.
“I think it is a bit unnecessary to blow this topic up,” he said. “Probably at this stage, it is more of a personal thing and I feel, in a way, [it is] particularly targeted to Lewis.
“We spoke about underpants as well, but really is that the most exciting thing we can talk about? In a way, there is a concern for safety if you have stuff and the car does catch fire it would be unpleasant. To some degree, it is personal freedom and we are old enough to make our choices outside the car. We should [also] be old enough to make choices also inside the car.”
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