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Hamilton's car impounded

MELBOURNE, March 27 – British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton had his car impounded for reckless driving just hours after setting the fastest qualifying time for the Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton had earlier clocked 1min 26.801sec around the track here, 0.25sec quicker than McLaren team-mate and current world champion Jenson Button.

But he then saw his Mercedes road car impounded by local police after he performed a "burnout with smoking tyres and a fishtail" in front of a Victoria Police van that pulled him over at about 9.15pm (local time, 1015GMT), the Herald Sun newspaper reported.

"This evening, I was driving in an over-exuberant manner and, as a result, was stopped by the police," Hamilton said in a statement.

"What I did was silly, and I want to apologise for it."

Policeman Sen-Constable Scott Woodford added: "It would have been fair to say he was fairly disappointed."

Hamilton, 25, will be charged by summons with improper use of a vehicle, the Herald Sun said, adding that his car had been impounded by the Traffic Management Unit.

The Englishman previously had his car impounded in France in 2007 when he was clocked driving well over the speed limit.

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