Issued on: 19/05/2022 – 21:06
Montmeló (Spain) (AFP) – Formula One driver Kevin Magnussen said Thursday he felt uncomfortable at being told not to wear his wedding ring when racing as opposition to the sport’s ‘bling ban’ intensified in the paddock.
“I understand what they are saying, but it is a wedding ring around a finger,” said the Haas driver on the sidelines of the Spanish Grand Prix.
“I’d take a little bit of extra burn on my finger to race in my wedding ring. If something bad was to happen I’d want to be wearing my ring. It kind of feels bad to take it off.”
He suggested drivers are given the chance to take responsibility for their own choices and sign a waiver to remove liability from the organisers.
Ironically, it was a terrifying blazing accident involving his former Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix that drew greater attention to the fire hazards faced by drivers, including a focus on jewellery and underwear.
Both are being scrutineered by the race stewards every weekend this year.
Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly called for a “common sense” approach to Formula One’s enforcement of the ‘bling ban’ that threatens to see seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton fined heavily every time he races.
The Frenchman suggested the sport’s ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA), should seek a compromise on the jewellery issue and others that are being enforced differently this year.
“It has been fine for 70 years,” Gasly told reporters.
“Obviously, there are a lot of changes compared to last year, but all of a sudden there are changes in the regulations and in the way that everything is policed.
“As drivers, we agree that we would like more communication on what we feel is right, what they feel is right and find a compromise.”
Gasly, who said he wears religious items in his car, has not been alone in raising objections to the heavy-handed approach taken this season, particularly towards Hamilton.
The Mercedes star revealed the problem by wearing three watches and other jewellery in news conferences at the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month.
Mercedes driver Hamilton objected to the clampdown at the Miami Grand Prix where he was eventually granted an exemption from the ruling because he has two piercings that are extremely difficult to remove.
The exemption is due to end after this weekend’s race in Spain, meaning he could be fined if he continues to wear the piercings at the Monaco Grand Prix next week.
The fines are expected to be around 250,000 euros.
Aston Martin’s four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel also exposed the perceived pettiness of the FIA’s approach by wearing his underpants outside his drivers’ race suit in Miami.
© 2022 AFP