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Hamilton fined for driving stunts

British motor racing star Lewis Hamilton has been fined 500 Australian dollars (£288) for "behaving like a hoon" and performing boy racer stunts.

The Formula One driver was caught by police executing a "burnout" and "fishtail" - tricks in which wheels are intentionally spun and skidded - in front of fans ahead of the Melbourne Grand Prix in March.

The 25-year-old former champion was not in court to hear his punishment on Tuesday. But his lawyer, Sandip Mukerjea, said Hamilton would plead guilty to the charge of improper use of a motor vehicle.

He avoided conviction as it was a first offence, but will be forced to pay the 500 Australian dollar fine.

Mr Mukerjea said his client suffered "embarrassment, humiliation and distress" as a result of the incident.

Hamilton fell foul to Victoria state's so-called "hoon" laws on March 26, two days before the race.

The driver was in a borrowed Mercedes when he was seen performing stunts outside the Grand Prix track at Albert Park, Melbourne. The car was impounded by state authorities. It marked the low point in an unhappy race meet for the British driver.

Hamilton is due to compete in the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend and wrote twice to the court to explain his absence.

Magistrate Clive Alsop said the British racing driver was a role model to young people and as such should have known better.

"This is about somebody in a responsible position behaving like a hoon," he added.

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