FIA extends exemption on F1 jewellery ban

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MONTE CARLO -- The FIA has agreed to extend an exemption on its jewellery ban in Formula One until the end of June in order to let the governing body's medical commission discuss the best way to safely and sensibly enforce the rule.

The wearing of jewellery by drivers while on track is banned under Appendix L of the FIA's International Sporting Code (ISC), but up until this year it has not been strictly enforced.

One of F1's new race directors this year, Niels Wittich, made clear at the start of the season that the wearing of jewellery -- including neck chains, bracelets and piercings -- would be considered a breach of the ISC, which could therefore result in a fine.

Wittich pointed out that items beneath a driver's mandatory flameproof clothing could increase the risk of burn injuries and he also highlighted the risk of critical delays or complications if medical imaging is required following an accident.

After push back from some drivers over the enforcement of the jewellery ban, an exemption was initially granted until this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, but it has now been extended to the end of June to include Monaco, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and the Canadian Grand Prix.

The prospect of a jewellery ban resulted in a standoff between seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who has a nose stud he cannot easily remove, and the FIA, with Hamilton saying he was willing to skip the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month if the ban was enforced.

Hamilton also appeared in a press conference in Miami wearing three watches, multiple bracelets and several necklaces and rings to make a point.

Speaking on Friday ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton said too much time and energy had been spent on the issue and he hopes a long-term solution can be reached.

"[The ban] came in in 2005 and I think we have all worn jewellery our whole careers in Formula One and it's not been a problem in the past and there is no reason for it to be now," he said.

"It definitely is a positive that we are working with them [the FIA] and they are accommodating us at the moment, but we shouldn't have to keep revisiting it each weekend. We've definitely go bigger fish to fry."

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen said he would check whether he is allowed to wear his wedding ring this weekend and would be willing to deal with any consequences that might come with wearing it.

"I'll take a little bit of extra burn on my finger to race in my wedding ring," Magnussen 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 some way to remove liability."