Australian F1 fans avoid prison term over budgie smugglers arrest

The motorsport fans spent four nights behind bars but have since apologised.

The Budgie 9 Image Getty

A group of nine Australian motorsport fans have narrowly avoided prison time after they were arrested by police in Malaysia for stripping down to nothing but skimpy “budgie smuggler” swimsuits at the Formula One Grand Prix in Sepang.

Matters were made worse at the time by the fact that the group’s new swimwear happened to feature the Malaysian flag and that they were quite clearly intoxicated.

Keen to celebrate countryman Daniel Ricciardo’s victory on the track, the group were detained by police and spent four days behind bars.

At the time, police warned that the group could face up to two years in prison as a result of their misdemeanors.

However, as the Associated Press reports, the group avoided jail and have walked free without conviction after pleading guilty to causing public nuisance and offering an apology to the Malaysian authorities.

Australian F1 fans caught up in budgie smuggler storm.
The budgie smugglers Was this worthy of an arrest? Image STR/AFP/Getty Images

Muhammadd Shafee Abdullah, who defended the group, described the incident as am “error of judgement”.

Released without charge, the group are thought to all be in their 20s and mostly graduates of Sydney University.

Speaking to the The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, meanwhile, F1 driver Ricciardo defended the group’s right to party.

“I respect the laws of Malaysia, but beyond that I don’t think they deserve any further punishment,” he said.

“In Australia, it’s a bit different, but I’m very sure they didn’t intend to offend anyone.”

The group have now returned home. Hopefully they will think twice before wearing any skimpy swimwear again. Regardless of whether they visit Malaysia or not.

Seriously guys, that is not a strong look.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.