Formula One great Lewis Hamilton was cleared to compete in the first practice session of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday after having his jewelry inspected.
Hamilton clashed with the FIA governing body last year over wearing jewelery and was cleared at the Singapore GP in October for wearing a nose piercing.
Hamilton explained to the stewards at the time that he had to keep the bolt on due to complications related to a blood blister on his nose, which occurred because he had to remove the bolt for races.
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The FIA did not mention his nose piercing in its statement on Friday, but said in its verdict that the seven-time F1 champion had received a medical exemption related to «concerns about disfigurement».
The stewards found it a violation of article 5 of the FIA sporting code (the wearing of jewellery) and took no further action against Hamilton after hearing from a Mercedes team representative and receiving a medical report requesting an exemption.
«The stewards consulted the FIA medical delegate, who saw the medical report, examined the driver and agreed with the opinion,» the FIA statement said. «We have decided not to take further action as there are concerns about defacement with frequent attempts to remove the device.»
Last May, Hamilton protested the FIA’s crackdown on jewelery such as body piercings by showing up to the Miami GP with as much jewelery as he could put on his body and suggesting he was prepared not to participate in the races on the subject.
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He kept his nose ring at the Monaco GP in late May after motorsport’s governing body extended the exemption to drivers wearing jewellery, but expressed frustration over the problem.
«Honestly, I feel like too much time and energy is being spent on this,» Hamilton said in Monaco. «We shouldn’t have to keep checking this every weekend. We definitely have bigger fish to fry.»