Hamilton crashes as F1 starts new turbo era

Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:29am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

JEREZ, Spain (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton walked away from a heavy crash after putting in the first laps of Formula One's new turbo era in testing with Mercedes on Tuesday.

Twin black streaks of scorched tyre rubber at the end of the Jerez pit straight marked the asphalt where the 2008 world champion had locked up and careered into the tyre wall.

Mercedes blamed a car failure, on the Briton's 18th lap of the day, for the crash and were investigating. Witnesses said the front wing appeared to break off.

Hamilton also crashed last year in his first test for Mercedes after moving from McLaren, whose car had yet to break cover on a remarkably quiet Tuesday with all teams grappling with the new power units.

By lunchtime only Hamilton and Toro Rosso's Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne had set timed laps and only five cars had been seen in action.

One of them was Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, that brought out the first red flag of the day when it stopped out on the circuit early on.

With a thin new moon still visible over the circuit, Hamilton eased the sleek looking F1 W05 out of the pitlane shortly after 0900 local (0800 GMT) for an installation lap before silence resumed.

Formula One has ditched the ear-splitting 2.4 liter V8 engines for a new turbocharged 1.6 liter V6 with complex energy recovery systems and more emphasis on fuel economy.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton (R) of Britain and teammate Nico Rosberg of Germany unveil the new Mercedes F1 W05 car during its official presentation at the Jerez racetrack in southern Spain January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo