Sebastian Vettel feels there's some "targeting" of Lewis Hamilton with the FIA's push to ban the wearing of jewellery while driving a Formula 1 car.
A recent decree by FIA Race Director Niels Wittich at the Australian Grand Prix was followed up by new measures implemented for the Miami event, forcing teams to sign off that their drivers have agreed not to wear any jewellery.
Hamilton, who showed up for the Drivers' Press Conference on Friday with more jewellery, necklaces, watches and rings than ever before, initially appeared to refuse to bend to the FIA's stipulations, as Mercedes failed to sign the scrutineering documents.
However, Mercedes eventually signed it, with the FIA agreeing a two-race grace period to allow Hamilton to remove the more permanent jewellery on his anatomy.
Vettel walked around the paddock with his underwear outside his race suit on Friday, in apparent protest at the FIA's clampdown on jewellery and the enforcement of drivers wearing fully compliant garments.
Vettel thinks Hamilton has been targeted
Vettel believes the whole topic has escalated from the initial warning issued by the FIA, given that the rule itself has been in place since 2005 – albeit without strict enforcement.
"Well, I think it is a bit unnecessary to blow this topic up," Vettel told media, including RacingNews365.com, in the Drivers' Press Conference on Friday.
"Probably, at this stage, it's more of a personal thing, and I feel, in a particular way, targeted to Lewis.
"I mean, we spoke about underpants as well. But really, is that the most exciting thing we can talk about?"
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Vettel wants personal freedom in F1
With the FIA outlining the dangers of wearing jewellery in the
context of a crash involving fire, as
well as the possibility of necklaces snagging during driver extrication,
Vettel said it should come down to a personal evaluation.
"In a way, you know, there's a concern for safety," he went on to comment.
"Obviously, if you have stuff (jewellery) and the car does catch fire, then it will be unpleasant.
"But on the other hand, I think, to some degree, it's personal freedom. We're old enough to make our choices outside the car, [and] we should be old enough to make choices also inside the car."
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