7 Feb 2013

Hamilton crashes in first test with Mercedes

2:12 pm on 7 February 2013

The 2008 world motor racing champion Lewis Hamilton has made an embarrassing start with his new Formula One team, crashing his Mercedes on the first day of pre-season testing in Spain.

Hamilton's car careered in a straight line across the gravel runoff at the Jerez circuit and nose first into a tyre wall.

The car's wheel tracks indicated Hamilton had been a mere passenger with no response from the steering as it went off the track, but he stepped out apparently unhurt.

The team had a difficult start to the first pre-season test of the year - their other driver Nico Rosberg completed only 14 laps after problems with his car's wiring loom left him stranded on the track with flames flaring briefly around the rear of the vehicle.