Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have been criticized by former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher for their antics with regards to the FIA's ban on jewelry and non-FIA approved underwear.
Hamilton and Vettel have eleven F1 World Drivers' Championships between them and have always been known to raise their voice for multiple causes of varying importance.
After the FIA announced that drivers would be checked for proper fire retardant underwear and jewelry of any sort ahead of races, Vettel made a statement by wearing his underwear over his suit. Hamilton, too, made his feelings clear at the pre-race drivers' press conference, where he came wearing three watches, multiple rings, chains and other items of jewelry.
Speaking on Sky Deustchland, Ralf, brother of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, admonished the pair for their protests. He said:
"I find it all a bit childish, to be honest, [they] should actually be in favour because it’s about safety."
Schumacher feels the two experienced F1 drivers should be setting an example for the younger drivers in the lower formulas. He went on to add:
“The drivers who drive Formula 3 and Formula 4 should know the big ones stick to it. And above all it’s about their own safety and that it’s actually a ridiculous thing that such experienced people who have seen so many accidents make fun of it in that way.”
The FIA has cited that jewelry can increase the risk of burns and slow life-saving treatment in case of crashes.
"I feel it’s particularly targeted to Lewis" - Sebastian Vettel calls FIA clampdown on jewelry and underwear for F1 drivers 'unnecessary'
Sebastian Vettel feels the FIA's crackdown on jewelry and underwear is unnecessary and particularly targeted towards Lewis Hamilton.
Speaking at a pre-race press conference ahead of the 2022 F1 Miami GP, the Aston Martin F1 driver said:
“I think it’s a bit unnecessary to blow this topic up. Probably at this stage, it’s more of a personal thing and I feel it’s particularly targeted to Lewis [Hamilton]. I mean we spoke about underpants as well - really is that the most exciting thing we can talk about? So, in a way there’s a concern for safety obviously if you have stuff and if the car does catch fire it would be unpleasant, but on the other hand, to some degree, it’s personal freedom and we’re old enough to make our choices outside the car, we should be old enough to make choices also inside the car.”
Hamilton has been given a two-race exemption to remove his body piercings following which he could be handed a race ban for not complying.