Watches added to F1 jewelery ban as drivers face $265,000 fine

As part of an FIA safety effort to prevent injuries in the event of accidents and in particular fires, drivers have been ordered to remove all jewelry from the Miami Grand Prix this weekend.

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, however, has been granted a two-race exemption to fully comply with the regulations, as some of his jewelry cannot be easily removed.

Ahead of qualifying day in Miami, the FIA ​​issued further clarification on its interpretation of the rules and clarified that stopwatches will also be considered part of the ban.

A note in the F1 Race Director’s Event Notes for the Miami GP read: “In the interest of safety, watches will be treated as jewellery.”

There has been no official document explaining the penalties that will be imposed if drivers break the rules, but sources have suggested stewards will use an escalator system for any breaches.

It is suggested that a first offense risks a fine of $52,000, while a persistent repeat offender could face a penalty of $265,000 (250,000 euros) and the potential loss of championship points if caught on a third. time.

Such an extreme financial penalty was one of the reasons Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen said he made sure he fully complied with the rules and withdrew his wedding ring.

“I don’t want to pay the 250,000 euro fine,” he said.

While Magnussen understands the safety reasons behind the FIA’s decision, he says forcing drivers to remove symbolic items like wedding wings strayed into territory he didn’t feel comfortable with.

“I understand what they’re saying, but it’s a wedding band around your finger,” he said.

“I’m going to take a little more burn on my finger for running into my wedding ring. And if anything were to happen, something bad, I would want to wear my wedding ring. It’s kind of wrong to take it off.

“With something like this, like your wedding ring. Let’s take that responsibility. There’s got to be a way to eliminate the responsibility.”

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