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Driving ban for Dennis

NEWS STORY
11/03/2011

Almost a year on from Lewis Hamilton's silliness in Melbourne, McLaren boss Ron Dennis has been hit with a six month driving ban.

The ban is the result of Dennis failing to stop at a red light just after 7.30 on September 5 (the 40th anniversary of Jochen Rind's death) last year, while driving his Mercedes Benz on Bracknell Road in Surrey.

Dennis asked to be spared the ban, citing how it would affect his lifestyle since he works long hours and likes to spend weekends with his children.

In his defence, Dennis explained that a friend was driving in a car close behind and he felt that suddenly braking for the red light might cause them to crash.

"There were only two other cars around but I felt that it would be more prudent to continue rather than stop," he told the court. "It was the decision I took for which I realise I'm here to take the penalty, but as I have said I really need my licence. I have no hardship but I would have a massive amount of trouble not being able to look after my daughter at the weekends."

However, chairman of the bench Mike Morritt was unimpressed and noting that Dennis has already accrued nine points on his licence gave him a further three thereby invoking an automatic ban. Dennis was also ordered to pay a fine of 350, plus court costs of 43 and a surcharge of 15.

With a nod to revelations in Tom Bower's recent tome (page 317), it is untrue that the chairman of the bench, following Max Mosley's alleged example, gave Dennis a one month ban for the offence and five months for "being a twat".

That said, we wonder who was in the other car.

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