Hamilton crashes on first day at Mercedes
6 February 2013 – Lewis Hamilton crashed during his first official day of pre-season testing for Mercedes at Jerez, with the 2008 World Champion losing rear brake pressure at the wheel of the new F1 W04 on the approach to the Dry Sack corner. It is currently unclear whether or not the Briton will be able to make it back out on-track in the afternoon.
"Lewis suffered a loss of rear brake pressure, the front brakes enabled him to slow the car but he couldn't avoid the barrier," the team explained after the accident.
Moments before the crash occurred, Hamilton had posted his personal best time of the day, which stands as a 1:19.519. Locking up after the long back straight due to his now confirmed brake issue, the former McLaren driver slid through the gravel trap and hit the trackside barriers head-on. He stepped out of his car unharmed, but there was notable damage to the front wing and suspension setup of the F1 W04 chassis.
Hamilton's off-track moment follows on from team-mate Nico Rosberg's Tuesday gremlins, when a panel at the rear of the team's new car set alight. This was later put down to a wiring loom issue, which restricted the team's Day 1 running to just 11 laps.