New Zealand Police are reviewing footage of Lewis Hamilton after he filmed himself riding a Harley Davidson on a highway and posted it to social media app Snapchat.
The incident came less than 24 hours after the British Formula 1 driver blew up on Twitter over being treated ‘like dirt’ at an Auckland casino.
The 31-year-old, a three-time Formula One world champion, is in New Zealand ahead of Sunday’s season-opening Grand Prix in Melbourne.
But his build-up to the event could be marred by official punishment after he flouted New Zealand’s road laws.
A New Zealand Police spokesperson told The New Daily: “Police will be reviewing the footage and taking any appropriate action it deems necessary.
“New Zealand Police take a strong stance on any activity which places undue risk on the lives of any person on the road.
“The use of mobile phones is a significant distraction, especially on a motorcycle, and can cause serious crashes on our roads.”
Using a phone while driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle is illegal in New Zealand, and incurs an $NZ80 fine.
See the video below
In the footage, Hamilton shows himself riding a motorbike on an Auckland motorway.
Clearly comfortable behind the wheel, Hamilton, travelling at a speed that appears to be just below 60 km/h, starts by filming the traffic in front of him.
Hamilton then pans back and films himself driving before the video ends.
He is wearing a denim jacket and ripped jeans while riding the motorbike.
Hamilton escaped a conviction but was fined $500 for doing a burnout outside the Australian Grand Prix circuit in Melbourne in 2010.
He was charged with intentionally losing control of a vehicle and fined $A500.
Magistrate Clive Alsop said he would not record a conviction because it was Hamilton’s first offence of that nature.
Hamilton’s lawyer Sandip Mukerjea said his client suffered ‘embarrassment, humiliation and distress’ after the incident was publicised.
‘They treated me like dirt’
The incident was not Hamilton’s first in New Zealand after he named and shamed Auckland’s SkyCity Casino for their poor customer service.
Hamilton swiftly deleted the tweet – but not before it was quickly circulated.
Why Hamilton was so disappointed is unknown, but it could be due to the casino’s policy of no sunglasses and hats. Hamilton regularly wears both.
Group communications manager for SkyCity, Kelly Armitage, said the facility had been in touch with Hamilton – but was not willing to give further details.
“We have touched base with him to discuss his experience,” she said.
“As with any customer, we don’t talk about the specifics of their stay with us.”
Not the first time
Hamilton is no stranger to controversy, both on and off the track.
The last couple of years have been full of bad headlines.
In February 2014, he was slammed for posting pictures on a skiing holiday shortly after seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher suffered a horrific accident.
He then came in for criticism at the Chinese Grand Prix for spraying a clearly uncomfortable hostess in the face with champagne.
Also in 2015, he was turned away from tennis grand slam Wimbledon for not meeting their dress code and forced to apologise for not removing his cap during a minute’s silence in memory of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson.
Hamilton later expressed his admiration for Wilson and his family.