Here’s a bit of travel advice for you: if you should be in Melbourne, Australia, with a 382 horsepower loaner car, be very careful about mashing the fun pedal. Authorities in Melbourne have little tolerance for hoonage, as Lewis Hamilton found out during this year’s Australian Grand Prix. On the eve of the race and in a borrowed Mercedes Benz E63 AMG, Hamilton performed a burnout in front of a crowd of appreciative fans. Sensing that automotive amusement was occurring on their watch, Melbourne police clamped down on Hamilton like a pit bull on a pork chop. His car was confiscated and Hamilton was ticketed for the incident.
Fast forward to last week, when Hamilton was officially charged with “losing control of a vehicle” and ordered to appear before an Australian judge on August 24. There are two problems with that: first, Hamilton will be in Belgium on August 24, preparing for the Belgian Grand Prix on August 29. Second, for a formula one driver, a burnout hardly constitutes “losing control of the vehicle”; in fact, I’d bet that Hamilton was simply trying to get some heat in his tires, all in the interest of safety. I’d love to be the barrister pleading the case for Hamilton, and I’m sure the court appearance would make for some very amusing video. Too bad we’ll never see it.