Lewis Hamilton’s team Mercedes has been penalised $24,500 because seven-time world champion Hamilton couldn’t take out his nose stud at the Singapore Grand Prix.
For safety reasons, drivers haven’t been allowed to wear jewellery for a long time. Even though this rule isn’t new, the sport’s governing body, the FIA, has been stringent about it this season, which at first made Hamilton angry.
The Brit, who has more than one piercing, was called in by stewards on Saturday before qualifying because he was wearing the jewellery.
Hamilton said he got an infection when he took the piercing out earlier in the season, and a letter from his doctor told him to keep it in.
Mercedes, on the other hand, got a fine because it sent in wrong paperwork that said Hamilton was following the jewellery ban.
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Hamilton told reporters before Sunday’s race, “I wasn’t trying to make a statement.”
“I’ve had my jewellery and nose stud for a long time, and we obviously had all that trouble at the start of the year.”
“At the time, it was like soldered in, so it didn’t come out. For many races, they gave me a pass so I could figure out what to do.
“Then I went to get it taken out and kept putting it in and taking it out to try to find a solution. Because of that, it got infected, and I just kept getting sick from it. I got a blood blister on my nose, and it hurt a lot.
“It’s crazy that we have to talk about such a small thing. I take everything else out. To be honest, I don’t care much anymore.”
Hamilton also questioned the rule’s validity, asking how something so small could be a safety issue.
He says that officials had told him before that the nose stud was dangerous because metal is a good conductor of heat and could cause a fire in the car.
“Our zipper is made of metal, our buckle is made of metal, our helmet is made of metal, and our wires are made of metal,” Hamilton said on Saturday. “I don’t know, it seems kind of silly to me.”
On the track, Hamilton’s race on Sunday was hard because he made mistakes that caused him to fall from third on the grid to ninth. He is now in sixth place among drivers, with 170 points. Max Verstappen, who has 341 points, is at the top of the championship.
The British driver will now go to Japan for the next race on October 9, hoping that both his car and his performance will get better.