McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has been fined $500 – equivalent to just 10 minutes’ earnings – after pleading guilty to ‘hoon driving’ during March’s Australian Grand Prix in today’s court hearing over the matter.
The 2008 World Champion – who did not attend today’s hearing at the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court – was lucky to avoid a criminal conviction, after being arrested, charged and summoned for driving dangerously on one of the perimeter roads surrounding the Albert Park circuit.
Representing his client, his lawyer Sandip Mukerjea pleaded guilty on Hamilton’s behalf.
Hamilton submitted two plea letters to the court, which – while claiming that he was “in control of the car at all times” – admitted to the “embarrassment, humiliation and distress” his actions had caused him due to the global media coverage of the incident.
With the support of an FIA-issued character reference, Hamilton was able to avoid a criminal conviction – which could have prevented him being able to travel to certain countries – although the magistrate questioned why “somebody in a responsible position [was] behaving like a hoon”.
Added the presiding magistrate, Clive Alsop: “It doesn’t show the general application of the level of responsibility and maturity that he must use every day on the race track.”
[Original image via The Telegraph]