Imagine the look on the faces of the Australian police officers who pulled over the young driver spinning his wheels and smoking the tyres on his silver Mercedes.
‘Who do you think you are son, Lewis Hamilton…..?” er, well actually…..
That’s exactly what happened on the streets of Melbourne last night, just days ahead of the Aussie Grand Prix.
The McLaren driver was booked under what are commonly know as ‘anti-hoon’ laws after the police saw him turn onto a public road and accelerate so hard that the wheels on his sports car spun and smoke billowed from the tyres.
The 2008 world champion was booked and forced to look on in eternal shame as the Merc was towed away and impounded.
Hamilton later apologised for spinning the wheels of his silver sports car and described his behaviour as ‘silly’.
In a statement shortly after his car was towed away by police, he said: “I was driving in an over-exuberant manner and, as a result, was stopped by the police. What I did was silly and I want to apologise for it.”
Police have been clamping down on ‘hoons’ – often young motorists who speed, spin their car wheels and perform rear-wheel swerving ‘fishtails’ and circular ‘doughnuts’ – on public roads.
So when at around 9.15pm last night local time, Hamilton was seen leaving a temporary enclosure set up beside Lakeside Drive in preparation for the Formula 1 race and burning his tyres in the process, police who had been parked in a van chased after him with blue light flashing.
Hamilton pulled over immediately.
Senior Constable Scott Woodford of Melbourne police said Hamilton was ‘extremely co-operative,’ adding: “It would have been fair to say he was fairly disappointed with the incident.”
He was interviewed at the spot on Lakeside Drive, part of the four-mile Formula 1 circuit near the junction of Fitzroy Street – a popular restaurant and red light area – for about half an hour and was routinely breath-tested.
With his name and address recorded, he was booked for improper use of a vehicle – and his car was then towed to a police yard in the suburb of Preston, where it will be held for 48 hours under Australia’s strict ‘anti-hoon’ laws.
The laws have been in force for a number of years in the hope of cutting down on anti-social behaviour that includes burn-outs and speeding.
Hamilton will be charged under summons, which means a date has to be set for a court appearance.
This could result in his case being hastily scheduled because he is a visitor, or an arrangement might be made for him to be represented by a lawyer in his absence.
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team