By Philip Duncan, PA F1 Correspondent, Bahrain
Lewis Hamilton will be allowed to wear his nose stud after he was awarded an FIA medical exemption following “concerns about disfigurement”.
Hamilton and Formula One’s governing body spent much of last season at loggerheads over the jewellery ban, with Hamilton eventually conceding defeat at the British Grand Prix in July.
However, the nose piercing returned three months later in Singapore after Hamilton said he had suffered an infection.
Ahead of Sunday’s opening race in Bahrain, Hamilton provided a doctor’s note explaining his reasons for continuing to wear the jewellery despite the FIA’s clampdown on safety grounds.
The FIA said they will take no further action in Bahrain. The PA news agency understands Hamilton’s exemption will also be in place for the remainder of the season.
A statement from the FIA read: “The Stewards heard from a team representative and received a medical report from the team doctor of Mercedes AMG-PETRONAS F1 Team, which requested an exemption.
“The Stewards consulted the FIA Medical Delegate, who viewed the medical report, examined the driver and concurred with the opinion therein.
“We have determined to take no further action as there are concerns about disfigurement with frequent attempts at removal of the device.”
Hamilton’s jewellery stand-off with the FIA has been ongoing for almost a year, but Friday’s exemption finally draws a line under the incident.
Speaking about the topic last season, Hamilton, 38, who is gearing up for his 17th season in F1, said: “I am not trying to make a statement. I have had my jewellery and my nose stud for years.
“We had that huge commotion at the beginning of the year. At the time, it was soldered in, so it didn’t come loose.
“I have got a letter from the doctor. For many races, they gave me an exemption until I could find a solution. I got it taken out and it got infected because of that.
“The stewards should be there to keep us safe and this is not a safety issue. It is crazy that we have to talk about something so small. ”