Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes were having a tough season after the controversial championship defeat last season. The Silvers Arrows have struggled with the new regulations and their new W13, which is far from being a frontrunner. While Mercedes is moving forward, the progress is so slow that they have constantly failed to compete with their faster rivals, Red Bull and Ferrari.
The 37-year-old finished sixth at the Miami Grand Prix, where the W13 appeared well-off pace. However, the frustrations for Lewis Hamilton have gone off-track with his recent brawl with the FIA about the jewelry ban. With the change in management, new F1 race director Niels Wittich and FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem have enforced the age-old jewelry rule more strictly than ever in motorsport’s history.
Further, during the Miami GP press conference, Hamilton told that he was willing to miss out on a race if the FIA forced him to remove his jewelry. The Briton claimed that there are bigger issues that the racing body must focus on instead of silly things like jewelry. Meanwhile, Wittich claimed in his notes that the jewelry was a breach of FIA’s safety protocols and could cause damage to the drivers in case of an accident. Eventually, Lewis agreed to remove his earrings and was given two race exemptions to remove his nose ring with a surgical procedure.
Recent reports suggest that Hamilton has refused to remove the nose ring at least until the end of the season. After Saturday’s qualifying race, Hamilton told that he was not willing to make the compromise. Further, the exemption will end on May 29 at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Briton insisted that he would not remove his nose piercings even when the exemption expires.
Can Hamilton Leave F1 Over The Issue?
Columnist Jonathan McEvoy has claimed that the former world champ could leave the sport if the FIA continues to push him. Jonathan wrote that Hamilton is at the twilight of his career and is very frustrated by his treatment by the FIA. Being a seven-time world champ and has been the pioneer of the sport in the modern era. It is unfair that the governing body is going after Lewis over a petty issue. The journalist thinks that the provocation by the FIA over the jewelry issue could lead Hamilton to quit. Moreover, Jonathan also claimed that the Mercedes driver could possibly quit in mid-season if Mercedes continues to struggle like this.
Meanwhile, McEvoy feels that the jewelry row could be a big blow to Hamilton’s idea of diversity and uniqueness. The 37-year-old could sacrifice himself as a martyr in his battle for individuality. Jonathan thinks the issue could also be a convenient way for Hamilton to get out of his two-year contract. Unfortunately, the Mercedes contract provides no guarantee of winning his eighth championship title. In addition, the columnist said that there is a scope of the resolution. But it is hard to see how that would happen. Jonathan added, “It is a shame that this is the hill on which either party would choose to die.”
Hamilton has looked to be more involved in the car’s development while the struggles for Mercedes have continued. He might think of calling quits on driving. But, it would certainly be hard for the seven-time world champ to leave Formula One completely.