27 Mar 2010

Hamilton's car impounded for doing burnout

6:54 pm on 27 March 2010

British Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has been pulled over by police and had his car impounded for doing a burnout in Melbourne.

The 25-year-old, who set the fastest time in Friday's Australian Grand Prix practice, is expected to be charged with improper use of a vehicle, police say.

The chairman of the Australian Grand Prix, Ron Walker, said he should be forgiven for his indiscretion.

In a statement, McLaren's 2008 Formula 1 world champion admitted he was "driving in an over-exuberant manner". He said, "What I did was silly, and I want to apologise for it."

Hamilton recorded a time of one minute, 26.801 seconds in Friday's second practice session - 0.25 seconds faster than McLaren team-mate and current world champion, Jenson Button.

Police told the ABC that Hamilton "deliberately lost traction" of his vehicle's wheels as he accelerated out of Albert Park, where Sunday's race is being staged, and began to turn into Fitzroy Street.

His 2010 Mercedes was impounded for 48 hours and the driver returned to his hotel, police said.

In 2007, Hamilton's car was impounded in France after he was caught speeding.