SINGAPORE: Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has avoided a penalty for wearing his nose stud during the Singapore Grand Prix qualifying after he produced a medical exemption letter -- although his team was fined 25,000 euros as they submitted a scrutineering form saying he wasn't wearing any jewellery.
Hamilton, who finished a season's best third in qualifying at Marina Bay on Saturday, had previously removed jewellery when driving after a long-standing rule that it could not be worn during track sessions was clarified in Miami, Florida, according to formula1.com.
However, he was wearing his nose stud in Singapore, which attracted the stewards' attention.
The seven-time world champion told them that his doctors had advised him on medical grounds not to remove the stud, rather than continue to take it in and out.
FIA deputy medical delegate Ian Roberts studied the medical report and concurred with the opinion. As a result, the stewards decided to take no further action.
Hamilton qualified third fastest in a dramatic wet-dry session at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
However, it soon emerged that Mercedes had submitted a self-scrutineering form declaring "that the driver complied with the requirement not to wear jewellery in the form of body piercing", according to formula1.com. The stewards noted this was incorrect.
"The Team Manager explained that the team was unaware that Hamilton had a piercing," read the stewards' report.
In recent events, Hamilton had removed the piercing prior to the competition. The team assumed, without enquiring of Hamilton, that he had followed or would follow the same procedure for this event.
"The Stewards accept that the error in the declaration, in this case, was not intentional or deliberate but it would not have occurred had the team made an enquiry of Hamilton before completing and submitting the declaration. Given these circumstances, we fine the team 25,000 euros."