Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton
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The FIA’s resolve is set to be tested this weekend as the 2022 F1 calendar lands in Monaco. Lewis Hamilton had been given until the Monaco Grand Prix to abide by the governing body’s tightened jewellery ban whilst in the cockpit, but they will face a defining question if he doesn’t.
Earlier this season, the FIA’s new president Mohammed ben Sulayem announced they were clamping down on regulations about jewellery and underwear in F1. But Hamilton, along with other drivers, has fought the stance with public showcases of defiance.
Prior to the Miami Grand Prix, the FIA gave the seven-time world champion a two-race warning to remove all of his jewellery. On race weekend in the United States, Hamilton responded: “I sent him [Ben Sulayem] a message, just reassuring him that I want to be an ally; I don’t want to fight with you guys over this. This is very silly.”
He stood firm on his revolt against the attempts to make him remove his nose stud and another piercing he ‘couldn’t really explain where’ at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. And now, the FIA will be questioned whether Hamilton will be allowed to race if he remains unmoved in Monaco.
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In Barcelona, supposedly his second and final chance to remove his jewellery, the Mercedes ace suggested they have backed off since his public disagreement at the Miami Grand Prix. But if that’s the case, Ben Sulayem and his newly appointed race directors’ authority over the drivers will undoubtedly come under fire.
“I haven’t had any discussions with anybody since the last time I spoke on Sunday at the last race,” Hamilton explained before the Spanish Grand Prix. “So what I’m aware of is that those who are married are allowed to wear their wedding ring.”
A retreat would be all the more surprising given Ben Sulayem’s comments in a recent interview. He insisted fines would apply if regulations weren’t followed. He added: “It’s like if someone speeds on the roads — you can’t stop them doing it, but they get fined, even if it was accidental.”
All eyes will be on Hamilton’s decisions and the FIA’s actions on what should be a decisive weekend in this long-running saga. There is unsurprisingly mass intrigue as to how far the governing body will go on the matter with the issue still unresolved despite talks taking place with drivers over how to move forward.
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