Lewis Hamilton car impounded by police

Lewis Hamilton has had his Mercedes road car impounded and is expected to be charged with improper use of a vehicle following an incident in Melbourne last night, Victoria Police have confirmed.

The McLaren driver, who was fastest in second practice for this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, was pulled over by police near the Albert Park circuit.

A Victoria Police spokesman said: "The vehicle was seen to deliberately lose traction and was intercepted by police.

"The driver, a 25-year-old man who resides in Switzerland, was spoken to at the scene and is expected to be charged on summons with improper use of a vehicle.

"The vehicle, a 2010 Mercedes, was impounded for 48 hours and the driver returned to his hotel."

Hamilton immediately released a statement through McLaren apologising for his actions.

The 25-year-old said: "This evening, 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."

Hamilton is likely to face a fine if found to have to committed an offence.

"It's something that will be settled in court and would be a monetary matter," said the police spokesman.

"None of these court times or dates have been set as yet."

The alleged incident happened hours after Hamilton clocked the fastest time in Friday's practice sessions ahead of Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was pulled over close to the Albert Park circuit and taken back to his hotel in a police vehicle.

The police spokesman said: "There were no problems whatsoever when the driver was stopped.

"He was assisted back to his hotel, which was about six kilometres (four miles) away.

"He was with a male passenger in the car."

Local reports said the 2008 world champion was seen "doing a burnout and fishtail".

The Melbourne Herald Sun described his conduct as "hoon driving".

The term 'hoon' has obtained a semi-official use in Australia, with police and governments employing it to describe legislation targeting anti-social driving activity.

It is not the first time Hamilton has been in trouble for his driving off the track.

In December 2007 he was suspended from driving in France for a month after being caught speeding at 121mph on a motorway. His Mercedes car was also impounded.