23.6 C
New York
Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Buy now

Lewis Hamilton makes a statement in Bahrain and gets jewellery exemption

Lewis Hamilton made a statement of his own as the new season began with practice in Bahrain, wearing a helmet decorated with a rainbow in support of LGBTQ+ rights in the region. The British driver had made clear on Thursday his belief that F1 was responsible to make a positive impact and raise awareness of issues in the countries it visits.

The helmet did not breach the FIA’s rules on drivers making political statements but Hamilton’s fracas with the governing body over the wearing of jewellery rumbled into a new season. This year he has been granted a medical exemption to wear his nose piercing. The FIA received a report from Mercedes’ team doctor and concurred with the “concerns about disfigurement with frequent attempts at removal of the device”.

On the track at the first meeting of the new season, it was Aston Martin that caught the eye, confirming that their exceptional step forward over the winter, indicated at testing, had been no false dawn.

In the first session Sergio Pérez topped the timesheets for Red Bull much as had been expected. However when night fell and they lapped in the race conditions under the floodlights it was Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin who enjoyed the honour of leading the way. He was quickest running a single lap on the soft tyres, over a second clear of Max Verstappen, who had been expected to enjoy the advantage at this opening round.

For all that the Sakhir circuit is something of an outlier in performance terms, this was confirmation that Aston Martin can expect to be a player at the front of the field this season. Mercedes, however, as they had anticipated still have work to do. Hamilton could manage only eighth with his teammate George Russell in 13th.

Pérez was third in what was a very mixed top 10 in Bahrain. Charles Leclerc was the best-placed Ferrari in fourth with the returning Nico Hülkenberg making an impressive comeback to claim fifth for Haas, but these remain still early days until the gloves truly come off in qualifying on Saturday.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles