Formula 1 has cracked down on the use of incorrect underwear, as well as piercings, leaving drivers and team principals rather amused.
F1’s governing body, the FIA, has undergone a number of key changes ahead of the 2022 season, with a new chairman and alternating race directors.
The new era of sporting aero regulations has shaken things up on the track, but there has also been a lot to cover in sporting regulations.
Details were ironed out to avoid the controversy that engulfed last season’s finale, while the drivers also had to be reminded of their dress code.
Prior to the Australian Grand Prix, director Niels Wittich made it clear to the grid that the wearing of non-flame retardant underwear was not permitted.
The sport’s leaders are keen to avoid any nasty mistakes, with FIA-approved undergarments, as well as gloves, balaclavas, socks and shoes.
But the underwear seems to have drawn the most laughs, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner joking about the drawers of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
“I certainly won’t be checking our pilots’ underwear,” Horner said.
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“For compliance, I see that as a crew chief, although I am reliably informed that our pilots are going commando, I hope it will not be a problem for them.
“I haven’t met the race director yet. Obviously they are doing the best they can with the rules they have. I understand he was an entertaining driver briefyesterday.
“In the interest of weight reduction, whether you’re losing jewelry or underwear right now is very helpful to us.”
AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly was more open about the new rules.
In response to the FIA’s apparent desire to clamp down on drivers’ underwear, the Frenchman said: “I won’t comment on that.
“If they want to check my ass, don’t hesitate, I have nothing to hide. My dick, everything. If it makes them happy, don’t hesitate.
Prior to the underwear episode, drivers were also told that body piercings were not permitted in the cockpit.
Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton has sported a nose stud in recent years, which led to a fun exchange between him and title rival Verstappen.
“Well, I have some piercings that I really can’t get out, that not many people know about… No, just kidding!” Hamilton joked.
“It’s been the rule forever, since I’ve been here it’s been the rule, so nothing new. I’m just going to come with more jewelry next week.
World champion Verstappen was also asked about the report, saying: “I would be too heavy if I wore jewellery, so it’s not possible.”
Which prompted Hamilton to reply, “I know you have a man who pierces nipples, come on.”
“Do you want to see him again?” Verstappen joked back.
Joking aside, Hamilton seemed unimpressed with the FIA’s new crackdown and also complained about the hours-long briefing.
“It was the longest driver briefing of my life,” said the Mercedes driver.
“I’ve been racing for a long time and they’ve never done such a long rider briefing.
“Also, no one at the pilot briefing wore a mask. Some of the drivers were, but most of the FIA weren’t, which was uncomfortable for me.
“And then I don’t really understand the little things they pick up, like underwear. Are we really talking about this stuff? But we are moving forward. »
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