F1: FIA stamping authority over Hamilton – Popov (Update)

Not wanting to ban their ‘pet’ driver, Lewis Hamilton, from this weekend’s Monaco GP, the FIA has extended the exemptions for drivers to continue wearing jewelry in their Formula 1 cars until the end of June, allowing further talks to take place regarding Appendix L of the ISC that concerns the wearing of jewelry.

Hamilton owns the weak FIA, playing them like a fiddle at every turn, but there needs to be clarity because the rule, as written, would even ban wedding rings.

May 19, 2022 

(GMM) The FIA’s new president is stamping his authority over Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton, according to well-known Russian F1 commentator Alexey Popov.

A British newspaper claims seven time world champion Hamilton and Mercedes boss Wolff were vocally upset when Mohammed Ben Sulayem suggested axed race director Michael Masi may soon get another job.

“Ben Sulayem said that two race directors is not enough – that a third is needed and he needs such an experienced specialist as Michael Masi,” Popov, the commentator for the Russian broadcaster Match TV, said.

“It is said that in the Wolff and Hamilton camp, this caused a shock,” he added.

But according to Popov, the new FIA president’s move – as well as his clampdown on the wearing of jewelry in the cockpit – is part of a push to establish authority over the Mercedes-Hamilton camp.

“I see it as Sulayem saying ‘Stop, guys. Stop showing me who’s in charge here; otherwise I’ll show you’. How true this is, I can’t say,” Popov admits.

“But in the context of this whole story, it does look plausible.”

While Hamilton focuses on the jewelry clampdown, many think he has taken his eye off the ball on the racetrack – resulting in falling behind his new teammate George Russell.

“Russell is a very good driver,” said former Mercedes boss Norbert Haug. “But I would never underestimate Lewis,” he told Sky Deutschland.

“Anyone who thinks he’s throwing in the towel is wrong. A world champion is of course criticized if he doesn’t do his usual job, and he’s currently behind his teammate.

“But I wouldn’t be surprised if that is no longer the case in Barcelona,” Haug added.


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