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Lewis Hamilton makes Miami GP boycott threat as row with F1 bosses over jewellery goes on

By Fraser Watson

Lewis Hamilton could miss this weekend's Miami Grand Prix if he's ordered to remove his jewellery before racing.

In a dramatic development Hamilton, 37, has remained defiant in the face of the FIA's clampdown on drivers wearing watches, necklaces, earrings and other accessories when behind the wheel. And at Friday's drivers press conference, he seemed to make a belligerent point with his appearance.

The seven-time world champion, who has endured a tough start to the season, arrived sporting three watches, eight rings and four necklaces. And when asked about the possibility of boycotting the race weekend over the issue, he was anything but dismissive.

"We have a spare driver," he replied. "There's lots to do in the city, I'll be good either way." Hamilton had previously said he would have "to chop his ears off" to comply with the authorities.

Hamilton is not the only driver on the circuit to wear jewellery but his high-profile status has undeniably drawn more attention to the row. On Thursday night, a letter was sent to all 10 teams to warn checks could be carried out before each session to ensure that no earrings or necklaces are being worn by any driver while on track.

And he accused the FIA are neglecting bigger issues by blowing a "small thing" out of proportion: "I don’t have a lot more to add than what I said the last time I was in front of you guys," he told reporters.

Hamilton attended a golf charity day earlier in the week before race weekend (AFP via Getty Images)

"I feel like it’s a step backwards if you think of the steps we’re taking as a sport, and the more important causes we need to be focussed on. We’ve made great strides as a sport and this seems such a small thing."

He did say he would be liaising further with FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem on the saga in a bid to find a constructive solution: "I’ve been driving for 16 years and wearing jewellery for 16 years," he continued.

"In the car I only have my earrings and a nose ring on which I can’t remove. It seems unnecessary for us to get into the spat. I’ll try and communicate and work with Mohammed.

“I’m here to be an ally of the sport, and of Muhammed and F1 and I think we’ve got bigger fish to fry, bigger things to do, and more impact to have, and I think that’s really where the focus should be.”

The British driver seemingly found support from fellow F1 veteran Sebastian Vettel, who accused organisers of targeting Hamilton unfairly. He also labelled the clampdown "unnecessary."

There was a lighter moment in the press conference when Hamilton was asked the time, in reference to him wearing three watches. He explained he was monitoring "three different time zones" in case he got calls from elsewhere in the world.

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Dive Deeper:
Lewis Hamilton makes Miami GP boycott threat as row with F1 bosses over jewellery goes on
Lewis Hamilton has implied he'll happily boycott the Miami Grand Prix if F1 bosses continue their clampdown over drivers wearing…
Lewis Hamilton to race in Miami after backing down in jewellery row with F1
Lewis Hamilton has backed down in his dispute with Formula One’s governing body over jewellery and will race in the…
Lewis Hamilton bows to pressure from F1 chiefs amid jewellery stance ahead of Miami GP
Lewis Hamilton will not wear ear piercings during the race in Miami this weekend, just hours after threatening to boycott…
Lewis Hamilton on collision course with F1 bosses over jewellery rule as FIA get tough
Hamilton joked his ears would have to be "chopped off" to comply with a resurrected jewellery rule, but race director…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Lewis Hamilton to remove ear piercings for Miami Grand Prix
The seven-time world champion defiantly arrived at practice wearing a large amount of jewellery but performed a U-turn after talks…
Hamilton prepares for showdown with Grand Prix 'bling' police
Miami (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton suggested on Friday he was prepared to defy the International Automobile Federation's (FIA) jewellery clampdown,…
Get all your news in one place