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BREAKING NEWS: Lewis Hamilton backs down in F1 jewellery row as Mercedes star TAKES OUT his nose stud for first practice at British Grand Prix after he was threatened with a BAN if he kept it in
- Lewis Hamilton has appeared to back down to the FIA by removing his nose stud
- The seven-time world champion was threatened with a ban if he had kept it in
- Hamilton has appeared to back down to president Mohammed ben Sulayem
Lewis Hamilton has removed his nose stud for first practice at the British Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion effectively backed down in his stand-off with the FIA to avoid a fine or suspension ahead of his home race at Silverstone.
An FIA spokesman said: ‘The stud has gone.’
The FIA are keen to impose their existing rule banning jewellery, which has not previously been enforced.
This relaxed approach changed under new president Mohammed ben Sulayem. He granted extra time for Hamilton to take out his stud, which the seven-time world driver said required surgical removal.
The exemption expired on June 30 – whipping up the prospect of controversy surrounding the issue in front of 140,000 fans this weekend. Hamilton has now take the heat out of it with his climbdown.
Lewis Hamilton has removed his nose stud after being threatened with a British GP ban
The Brit arrived into the paddock on Friday morning still wearing his nose stud despite threat that he could be banned from taking part in the British Grand Prix if he continued to wear it
By the time of first practice though, he appeared to back down and removed the nose stud
Sportsmail understand talks between Hamilton and Ben Sulayem are pencilled in for next week as the two look to smooth over the issue.
The grace period regarding wearing jewellery expired today, yet Hamilton retains his contentious nose stud as he arrived into the paddock on Friday morning.
The FIA are not backing down, as Ben Sulayem is keen to stick to his insistence that the previously unenforced jewellery rule is an important safety issue.
If Ben Sulayem was not talked into a compromise position, Hamilton could either be have been fined or, in extremis, prevented from racing.
The issue first cropped up earlier this year, with the FIA giving permission to Hamilton to take part in the Monaco Grand Prix despite wearing jewellery.
Back in May, the 37-year-old said regarding the issue: ‘When they [the FIA] told me about the jewellery, they were saying safety is everything,’ the seven-time world champion said earlier this month.
‘I said, “Well, what’s happened for the last 16 years? I’ve had jewellery on for 16 years. So was safety not an issue back then?”
‘I feel like it’s almost like a step backwards, if you think about the steps we are taking as a sport, and the more important causes that we need to be focused on.’
Despite taking a lenient view of jewellery in racing in the past, as Hamilton said, the FIA has enforced its International Sporting Code more strictly so far this season, clamping down on the wearing of piercings and chains.