Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton crashes out of Day One testing at Jerez
Car suffers front-wing failure before hitting the barriers; Hamilton had been top of the timesheets when the crash occured; 2008 World Champ not hurt during accident
By Pete Gill & James Galloway at Jerez
Last Updated: 29/01/14 8:28am
In a near-repeat of Hamilton's crash into a tyre wall when he debuted for Mercedes a year ago, the 2008 World Champion brought proceedings during Day One at Jerez to a shuddering stoppage when he hit the barriers at Turn One of the circuit in southern Spain.
According to Mercedes, Hamilton's newly-unveiled W05, which had completed 18 laps up until that point, had suffered a front-wing failure just prior to his accident with debris scattered across the start-finish straight. Mercedes continue to investigate the cause of the failure.
TV footage of the incident showed Hamilton leaving the circuit and going through the gravel trap into a nose-first impact with the tyre barrier.
The 29-year-old was able to climb out of his broken car unassisted following the crash, which occurred at 1pm local time.
"It happened very quickly," Hamilton later explained to reporters when he returned to the paddock.
"I got to the end of the straight and braked, the car went a little bit higher than usual and the car didn't stop. That was it."
Nonetheless, despite being forced out of the final four hours of Day One, Hamilton took solace from the fact that until his crash Mercedes had led the way on the mileage charts while rivals simply struggled to get out of the garage with their all-new challengers.
"Apart from the end, it's generally been a positive day," the Briton stressed.
"We were the first ones out and have done the most laps by the time we finished is a hugely positive start for us. Obviously this is testing, you're going to have hiccups."
Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg is scheduled to pilot the W05 on Wednesday.