• May 23, 2010
It would seem that the only good time Lewis Hamilton had at the Australian Grand Prix was when he was actually smoking the tires of his loaner Mercedes C63 AMG. Once that burnout was complete, though, the wheels came off: Hamilton got nicked by the police under Melbourne's anti-hoon laws, had the car impounded, qualified 11th for the race and finished sixth.

And it's not over: Lewis has been officially charged by a Melbourne court with intentionally losing control of a vehicle. A summons for a court date of August 24 was given to his Australian solicitor, but with the Belgian Grand Prix taking place on August 29 the chance of his appearing on that date seems slim. If nothing else, charging a former Formula 1 world champion – and Swiss resident, to boot – is the best lesson to every non-world-champion out there who plans to visit Melbourne: Do. Not. Hoon. Hat tip to Robert

[Source: The Age]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      An F1 world champion "loses control" of a sports sedan...

      Hold on while I puke a little.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ..."charged by a Melbourne court with intentionally losing control of a vehicle..."

      I think he could make a strong argument (including expert witness testimony), that he did NOT, in fact, lose control of the C63. If there ever was anyone who was in control of a vehicle on a public street, it would be Hamilton. If it had ended in a wreck, I could see you make a case that he wasn't in control--not the case here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        exactly what i was going to say
        • 4 Years Ago
        I thought the same thing after I read the language of the charge.

        They probably don't use the law on very many professional drivers. It seems that Hamilton, as a professionally trained driver, could say that the charge is the exact opposite of what he did. Instead of trying to lose control, he "intentionally maintained control of the vehicle" using his expert driving skills.

        Normal drivers couldn't say that. If I was pulled over for the same charge, I couldn't make the same argument. I don't have training and experience to back me up.

        Of course, he'll probably just pay a fine and not drive in Australia anymore.
        • 4 Years Ago
        damn, you both beat me to it.

        he should easily walk away from this charge as one of the most highly skilled drivers on the planet.

        no loss of control to see here....move along.
        • 4 Years Ago
        whole heartedly agree... i dont consider a professional driver doing a burnout, not to mention successfully, as "losing control"
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hamilton was probably in more control of his vehicle during that stunt than I am at any point of my commute to work.

        Sheesh.

        Stuff like this is the reason I dislike indiscriminate application of the law. Here's a thought, people aren't equals so maybe it should be okay for some people to do some things.
        From a public safety perspective, I think a soccer mom yelling at her kids, driving in a massive Tahoe/Suburban, using her cell phone but doing the speed limit should be infinteatly more illegal and punished - from a public safety perspective - than a person who does 100 mph on an interstate at say 4:30 a.m (well after the drunks are off the road and before the workers get on) in their 911 GT2 and full race driver training and experience.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You make a good point technically but I hope no one here thinks that would be a good outcome. The best drivers in the world should still understand and promote the importance of cautious driving on public roads. Assuming it is impossible for a skilled F1 driver to lose control of their road car (which is BS, but anyway), there are still 2 very important reasons for this:

        1) You don't know how other drivers/pedestrians are going to react to your erratic driving, and
        2) As a high profile sports person, setting an example to your less experienced, less skilled and more impressionable fans that it's cool to do this sort of thing on public roads is not the smartest thing in the world.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is just not shaping up to be Hamilton's year on or off the track.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They only pulled him over because he's black...racial profiling...
        • 4 Years Ago
        They saw him rollin', they hatin', patrollin' and tryin' to catch him ridin' dirty.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Surprisingly, expected this from Australia of weird laws.

      First it was banning of any porn depicting flat chest that resembles a minor.

      Second it's (soon to be) scanning the contents of any laptop or mobile device containing pornography for airline passengers coming into Australia.

      And, seeing this, is just not surprising at all.

      It's called a burnout done for fun by the driver who was in total control of his vehicle. Some lawmaker in Australia needs to grow a brain.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And we Americans complain about OUR government being too restrictive.... Sheesh
      • 4 Years Ago
      Do you get arrested for shooting a gun at a firerange? The track is sealed off, he can do what ever he wants there. But while your at it, get him for speeding! Just looking at the car makes dangerously fast.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's a bit of a slap in the face to suggest that one of the world's greatest drivers was not in control of the vehicle. They should just call it a burnout, like it is.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Aaaah, Gregory said what i said but soo much shorter! Touche.
      Carlos
      • 4 Years Ago
      Doesn't the Australian government have more important things to enforce other than anti-hooning laws?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Victoria is a nanny state when it comes to do with anything regarding driving, and to say that he lost control of the vehicle is just stupid.

      That said, just because he's an F1 driver doesn't mean that he should be doing it. Yes, he knows exactly what he is doing but if I or anyone else posting here were to do that sort of thing in public - even if we were in full control of the vehicle - then we would receive large fines, have our cars impounded and face the possible loss of our licences.

      Hamilton seems to have a history of doing this sort of stuff on public roads, so maybe this'll be a lesson to him to keep this sort of behaviour on the track. I don't like the rules, but that's the way it goes. The way I see it; one in, all in.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As Mark Webber said Nanny State, I live in Melbourne and believe me they make up more rules here than a Communist Country.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Melbourne cops have always been known for their temperament. Lesson to be learnt here somewhere….:))
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