As part of an FIA safety measure to prevent injuries in accidents and especially fires, drivers have been ordered to remove all jewelry from this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.
However, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton has been given a two-race waiver from full compliance because some of his jewelry cannot be easily removed.
Ahead of qualifying day in Miami, the FIA has provided further clarification on its interpretation of the rules and made it clear that timepieces will also be considered part of the ban.
A note in the F1 race director’s notes for the Miami GP said: “In the interest of safety, watches will be considered jewelry.”
There is no official document explaining the penalties that will be handed out if drivers break the rules, but sources have suggested the stewards will use an escalator system for any violations.
It is suggested that a first offense could be fined $52,000, while a persistent repeat offender could face a $265,000 fine and the possible loss of championship points if caught a third time.
Such an extreme financial penalty was one of the reasons Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen said he had made sure he followed the rules in full and took off his wedding ring.
“I don’t want to pay the fine of 250,000 euros,” he said.
While Magnussen understands the safety reasons behind the FIA action, he says forcing drivers to remove symbolic items such as wedding wings has moved into an area where he was uncomfortable.
“I understand what they’re saying, but it’s a wedding ring on your finger,” he said.
“I’ll take some extra burns on my finger to race in my wedding ring. And if something were to happen, something bad, I’d want to wear my wedding ring. It feels a bit bad to take it off.
“With something like your wedding ring. Let’s take that responsibility. There has to be some way to remove liability.”