By JEROME PUGMIRE
AP Auto Racing Writer
MONACO (AP) — Lewis Hamilton kept his nose stud in at the Monaco Grand Prix after motorsport’s governing body extended the exemption on drivers wearing jewelry until the end of June.
Hamilton had been given a temporary exemption of two races to remove his stud, a process he said required surgical intervention. That covered only the Miami GP and last weekend’s Spanish GP, meaning he could have been forced to miss the race in Monaco if rules had been strictly applied.
The FIA’s exemption also covers Azerbaijan on June 12 and Canada on June 19. Discussions took place after the drivers’ briefing at the Spanish GP, with a view to seeing how the wearing of jewelry could be enforced in a safe way.
“It definitely is positive that we’re working with (the FIA) and I think they’re accommodating (us) a little bit at the moment,” Hamilton said ahead of Friday’s first practice session.
But he is still frustrated with the issue.
“Honestly, I feel like there’s just way too much time and energy being given to this. I’ve said everything I feel I need to say on it in the last races and that is not where my focus is this weekend,” Hamilton said. “We shouldn’t have to keep on revisiting this thing every weekend. We’ve definitely got bigger fish to fry.”
Hamilton protested the FIA’s crackdown on body piercings in Miami. He arrived in the paddock there wearing at least four stacked necklaces, and was later seen with at least three watches and four rings on each hand — along with his earrings and nose ring.
The FIA tightened its ban on non-regulatory underwear and body piercings with the rule part of official scrutineering, meaning such choices are subject to review by race officials.
Hamilton said in Miami that he would sign a waiver assuming all responsibility.
“I think we’ve all worn jewelry throughout our careers in Formula One,” Hamilton said Friday. “It’s not been a problem in the past and there’s no reason for it to necessarily be a problem now.”
The FIA argues that wearing jewelry underneath flameproof clothing could reduce protection.
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