Lewis Hamilton involved in odd F1 'battle' over jewellery
Formula One's new race director has banned the use of jewellery during races
Lewis Hamilton has challenged the Formula One rules around jewellery, insisting that they will have to 'chop his ears off' to meet the requirements.
New race director Niels Wittich reminded drivers of the ban on body piercings and neck chains ahead of last weekend's race in Melbourne.
The rules have been in place since 2004, however haven't been followed rigorously and Wittich has decided to reinforce the rule, insisting it is there to protect the drivers.
Hamilton has no plans to follow the rules
However Hamilton isn't on board with the idea and showed an act of defiance as he wore piercings in both ears and a nose stud during the race in Australia and said he would have to have his ear "chopped off" to comply with the rules.
"I don't have any plans on removing them," the seven-time World Champion said after the race.
"They are personal things. You should be able to be who you are. There is stuff that I cannot move.
"I literally cannot even take these out. These ones on my right ear are welded in so I would have to get it chopped off. They will be staying."
The rules state that wearing body piercings is 'prohibited'
The FIA's clause states that "the wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start."
This could mean that Hamilton could potentially face a fine, and even be docked points for failing to follow the guidelines, however Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has questioned whether it is worth arguing over.
"Is that a battle he needs to have?" he asked.
"How he has run the first few races has been respectful, solid and he hasn't put a single foot wrong.
"But is that [jewellery ban] a battle he needs to have at this stage?
"However, if it turns out to be the biggest unfortunate misstep of a race director, I would take it a thousand times over."
Hamilton finished fourth in the race down under as Charles Leclerc claimed his second victory of the season.
Reigning champion Max Verstappen meanwhile was forced to retire while Hamilton's Mercedes teammate, George Russell, secured his first podium of the season, finishing third behind Sergio Perez.
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