The first-ever Miami Grand Prix was never going to be a minimalist affair. Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton reminded us of that fact when he piled on the jewelry at a pre-race press conference today in Miami: a location-appropriate fashion statement, yes, but also a nod to the F1 governing body’s recent crackdown on drivers wearing jewelry in the car, sticking to a longstanding but rarely enforced rule in the racing world.
“I feel like it’s almost like a step back, if you think about the steps we’re taking as a sport, and the most important issues and causes that we need to focus on,” Hamilton said. at the conference this morning, his frustration visible in the eight heavy-duty silver rings, the multiple Cartier Juste un Clou bracelets, the stacks of pearl necklaces and the three multicolored IWC watches (oddly all set to different times) adorning his neck and hands.
“It’s such a small thing. I’ve been in sports for 16 years and I’ve been wearing jewelry for 16. In the car, I only have my earrings and my nose ring, which I can’t not even take it off. It seems pointless for us to get into this argument,” he joked, he couldn’t have put on more jewelry that day if he had tried. Aside from the usual accessories, Hamilton, a longtime style maximalist, recently told the New York Post he has “several piercings that I really can’t get out, that not many people know about,” laughing. “These on my right ear are literally soldered on so I would have to cut them off or something. So they will stay.
“I am here to be an ally of the sport,” added the pilot on Friday. “There are bigger fish to fry.”
Hamilton isn’t alone in his position either. His compatriot Pierre Gasly noted that he has “a religious object that I carry with me when I run, which is important to me. I don’t feel comfortable not having that in the car. I feel like it’s personal; we should have the freedom to do what we think is good for us,” he said, according to ESPN. “At the end of the day, we have a responsibility to go out there and put our lives at risk. It should be a personal choice. »
Ahead of the Miami race, race director Niels Wittich doubled down on the rule that drivers do not wear jewelry while driving, in line with the governing body’s International Sporting Code. Hamilton, for his part, seemed at peace with the consequences. “There’s plenty to do in the city anyway,” he joked. For now, at least, he needn’t worry: the FIA had granted Hamilton a two-race exemption from the jewelry ban that afternoon.