Hamilton's Mercedes test debut ends with a crash
MOTOR SPORT:Lewis Hamilton escaped unscathed from a high-speed scare that brought a premature end to his Formula One test debut with Mercedes yesterday.
The 2008 world champion was doing about 300kph at the end of the straight when his rear brakes failed and pitched his car off the track, across the gravel and head-on into the tyre wall at the Jerez circuit.
Mercedes put the impact, after just 15 laps and only an hour and 48 minutes into the morning session, at around 60kph and the damage to the front suspension was enough to rule out any further track time for the day.
"I hit the brake, and for a split second it was working, but then the pedal just went straight down. It wouldn't work any more. Then I just had to brace for impact," the 28-year-old former McLaren driver told reporters.
Asked if there were still some positives from the day, he smiled and replied: "Definitely. I'm alive."
The crash compounded a difficult start to testing for Mercedes.
Their first pre-season test of the new car had already got off to a difficult start on Tuesday when an electrical problem and brief flare-up sidelined Germany's Nico Rosberg for the whole day after just 14 laps.