Being a world-renowned Formula 1 driver has its perks, but it doesn’t place you against the law. McLaren driver and 2008 F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has discovered exactly that: after being charged with a traffic offense for a burnout he performed earlier this year, Hamilton may be forced to return down under to attend his hearing.
Following a practice session for this year’s Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton jumped into a loaned Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, executed a smoky burnout, and fishtailed out of the Albert Park race venue. He was promptly stopped by Melbourne’s finest and has since been charged with intentionally losing control of a vehicle. Worse, the C63 AMG was impounded, thanks to Australia’s so-called anti-hoon laws designed to crack down on vehicular shenanigans.
In what could be unfortunate timing for Hamilton, Australian officials set a court date of August 24 -- three days before his first practice for the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix. At this point, it is unclear if Hamilton will need to be present for the hearing or if he can simply send legal representatives in his place.
Hamilton has since expressed regret for his tire-shredding actions, but we’ll have to wait and see if it’s sincere enough to win over Australia’s court system. Until then, you can watch the aftermath of Lewis’ burnout online, courtesy of some camera-wielding fans and the power of YouTube.