Lewis Hamilton feels “too much time and energy” has been given to the ongoing saga relating to the ban on wearing jewellery while competing in F1.
Hamilton, who has been a vocal critic of the FIA ruling that states that drivers should not wear jewellery while in the car, was given a two-race exemption for the nose ring he claims cannot be removed without surgical intervention.
That was due to expire at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix but the FIA has now extended its exemption until the end of June to allow the drivers and the FIA to conduct further talks about the next steps.
But seven-time world champion Hamilton, who has been removing his ear piercings since the FIA’s renewed clampdown, believes the matter has already dragged on for too long.
“Honestly I feel there’s way too much time and energy been given to this,” Hamilton said. “I’ve said everything I feel I need to say. I’ve taken out the studs out every time I’ve been out in the car.”
Asked if he views it as a positive that the FIA are happy to work with the drivers on the jewellery subject, Hamilton said: “I think we’ve all worn jewellery our whole careers in F1 and it’s never been a problem in the past and there’s no reason for it to necessarily be a problem now.
“It definitely is positive that we are working with them and debating a little bit at the moment. But we shouldn’t have to keep revisiting this subject every weekend, we have bigger fish to fry.”
Speaking ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen said he plans to continue wearing his wedding ring – which is currently allowed – and is willing to take the associated risks.
“I’ll take a little bit of extra burn on my finger to race in my wedding ring,”The Dane said. “And if something was going to happen, something bad, I would want to wear my wedding ring. It kind of feels bad to take it off.
“With something like that, like your wedding ring, let us take that responsibility. There must be somehow to remove liability.”
‘Too early’ for Hamilton to think about title
Mercedes enjoyed their most competitive showing of the season last time out in Spain as George Russell scored his second podium of the season in third, while Hamilton brilliantly recovered from a first-lap puncture to finish fifth.
Hamilton admitted he was surprised to be the fastest driver on track during the race at Barcelona.
“We definitely weren’t expecting it,” Hamilton said. “We were expecting to be close to the Ferraris but I didn’t expect to come from so far behind.”
Asked if he believes he can still fight for the title this year despite finding himself 64 points down on championship leader Max Verstappen, Hamilton replied: “I don’t know. It’s too early to say.
“We know there’s potential in the car and we tapped into it at the last race. I’m hoping it’s not up and down from track to track from here onwards.”
Hamilton also played down Mercedes’ chances of challenging for the win in Monte Carlo this weekend based on how the team performed in the slow-speed sections at Barcelona.