Formula One star Lewis Hamilton has apologised after being caught by police doing a burnout in his car in Melbourne on Friday night.
Former F1 champion Hamilton had his Mercedes impounded by police under Victorian anti-hoon laws for an incident as he was leaving the Australian Grand Prix circuit in Albert Park.
In a statement released by his racing team McLaren on Saturday, Hamilton said: “I was driving in an over-exuberant manner and, as a result, was stopped by the police.
“What I did was silly and I want to apologise for it.”
Police said Hamilton’s Mercedes skidded as it was being driven out of Lakeside Drive, Albert Park – near the entrance to the circuit.
The 25-year-old had his late model silver Mercedes seized by police to be impounded, and he was charged on summons with improper use of a vehicle.
The car will be eligible for release from 9am (AEDT) on Monday.
Leading Senior Constable Scott Woodford said Hamilton’s rear wheels were losing traction as he accelerated out of an intersection.
“He was disappointed with the incident but extremely cooperative with police,” Snr Const Woodford told AAP.
“Given that Melbourne’s on the world stage with a lot of interstate and international visitors, we would expect drivers to observe road rules.”
It came just hours after Hamilton recorded the fastest lap time in Friday practice for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Hamilton will return to the track on Saturday for qualifying ahead of Sunday’s race.
It is not the first time Hamilton has fallen foul of the law over a driving incident.
Three years ago, French police impounded a car he was driving after he was caught speeding at 196km/h on a motorway – more than 60km/h over the speed limit.
He had his driving licence suspended for a month.
© 2010 AAP