Lewis Hamilton has been forced to apologise for his latest embarrassing indiscretion in Melbourne.
After setting the fastest time in practice for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton was departing the Albert Park circuit when he foolishly opted to perform stunts in his loaned Mercedes. It is now likely the 2008 Formula One world champion, whose car has been impounded for 48 hours, will be charged with improper use of a vehicle, which could result in a fine following an appearance in court.
Issuing a statement via McLaren, the 25-year-old said: "On Friday 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."
"The vehicle was seen to deliberately lose traction and was intercepted by police," confirmed a Victoria Police spokesman.
"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 assisted back to his hotel, which was about six kilometres (four miles) away."
The spokesman added: "There were no problems whatsoever when the driver was stopped. He was with a male passenger in the car."
It is not Hamilton's first offence because in December 2007 he was caught speeding at 121mph in France, which also culminated in his car being impounded, as well as a month-long driving suspension in that country.
Significantly, this incident comes a year after Hamilton was caught lying to stewards following last season's grand prix in Melbourne.
After a brilliant drive to finish fourth from 18th on the grid, Hamilton was promoted to third after Jarno Trulli, then with Toyota, was penalised for passing him under the safety car. However, Hamilton was ultimately disqualified after the stewards decided he and McLaren had provided misleading evidence relating to the incident.