Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton given medical exemption to race with nose stud

Lewis Hamilton is preparing to go into his 17th season in Formula One. Clive Mason/Getty Images

SAKHIR, Bahrain -- Lewis Hamilton has been given a medical exemption to race with a new nose stud this year, due to "concerns about disfigurement with frequent attempts at removal of the device."

Last year Hamilton had a long back and forth with the FIA, racing's governing body, after it issued a clampdown on the jewelry drivers were and were not allowed to wear while in the car.

Following an update regarding jewelry in the FIA's International Sporting Code, Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, risked fines and eventually a race ban if he did not remove his nose stud. The two sides came to an agreement before a ban was required.

Hamilton arrived in Bahrain this week with an extra nose stud, which may have fallen foul of the ruling, but the FIA clarified shortly before the first practice session of the season started that it would not be an issue.

The verdict said: "The Stewards consulted the FIA Medical Delegate, who viewed the medical report, examined the driver and concurred with the opinion therein. We have determined to take no further action as there are concerns about disfigurement with frequent attempts at removal of the device."

The FIA also confirmed that a pride flag on Hamilton's racing helmet, which he wore during first practice, did not fall foul of a new ruling this year on making personal or political statements at races.