SINGAPORE — No further action has been taken against Lewis Hamilton for wearing a nose stud during qualifying day for the Singapore Grand Prix, although his Mercedes team has been fined €25,000 for submitting a check form declaring stated that Hamilton was not wearing any jewelry.
Hamilton explained after qualifying that he was wearing his nose brace because removing it had led to an infection on previous laps and he had been told by doctors to keep it in place to prevent the infection from coming back.
Singapore Grand Prix stewards accepted Hamilton’s explanation, but still fined Mercedes for signing a form “declaring that the driver complied with the requirement not to wear jewelry in the form of piercings”. However, the stewards noted that Mercedes was not aware that Hamilton was wearing the nose bolt, having removed it on previous laps.
At the start of the season, the FIA clarified a long-standing rule in F1’s regulations, which requires drivers to remove jewelery prior to track sessions. FIA race director Niels Wittich explained at the Miami Grand Prix in May that “metal objects, such as jewelry, that come into contact with the skin can reduce heat transfer protection and thus increase the risk of burns in a fire”.
The jewelry store sparked a stalemate between Hamilton and the Miami governing body as the seven-time world champion said he couldn’t easily remove a nose stud to comply with the rule.
An exemption was granted that lasted until the British Grand Prix, when Hamilton finally removed the cam for the first practice session at Silverstone.
Hamilton explained that switching on and off on the following laps had led to the infection.
“I’ve had my jewelry and my nose stud for years and of course we had that whole commotion at the beginning of the year,” said Hamilton. “At the time, it was like it was soldered in, so it didn’t come off. They gave me an exemption for a lot of races at the time so that I could find a solution. Then I went to take it out and try to find a solution, turn it on and off.
“It got infected because of that and I just kept going with this infection. I got a blood blister and had quite a wound on my nose. Then I went back and had to get the blood blister fixed because there was pus and blood.
“I put this back in and in the last two weeks it started to heal and they’ve asked me to keep it in. It’s crazy that we have to talk about something so small. I’m taking everything else out. At this point, I don’t really care to be honest.”