Hamilton was charged in May with “intentionally losing control of a vehicle” under the state of VictoriaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s “hoon” laws after he was alleged to have intentionally spun and skidded his tires. As a result, HamiltonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s borrowed E3 Mercedes was impounded by police as he left the circuit.
McLarenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2008 world champion did not appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court as he prepares for this weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps after the sportÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s four-week summer recess.
However, through his lawyer Sandip Mukerjea, Hamilton pleaded guilty to the charge of improper use of a motor vehicle.
Mr Mukerjea told the court that Hamilton had publicly apologised over the incident and suffered Ã¢â‚¬Å“embarrassment, humiliation and distressÃ¢â‚¬Â after he was vilified by the Australian media for his stunt.
A character reference was also provided from David Ward, the director general of the FIA Foundation, the governing body for international motor sport.
Magistrate Clive Alsop said Hamilton was a role model for young people and should behave responsibly.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This isn’t about somebody’s character, this is about somebody in a responsible position behaving like a hoon,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mr Alsop said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It doesn’t show the general application of the level of responsibility and maturity that he must use every day on the race track.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Mr Alsop accepted HamiltonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s request not record a conviction as it was the first offence of its kind.
Perhaps the court should have insisted on a more substantial fine to be used to help the state educate young drivers, or support road charities in Victoria and beyond. A measly Ã‚Â£287 fine is not exactly going to break the bank for a multi-millionaire such as Hamilton.
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