Hamilton starts new F1 turbo era with a crash

Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:26pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

JEREZ, Spain (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton crashed his Mercedes, world champion Sebastian Vettel failed to complete a timed lap and McLaren's car stayed in the garage as Formula One's new turbo era endured a difficult, and strangely quiet, birth on Tuesday.

Twin black streaks of scorched tyre rubber marked the asphalt at the end of the Jerez pit straight where Hamilton locked up and careered into the tyre wall after a front wing failure on the first day of pre-season testing.

The 2008 champion was unhurt in the crash, on his 18th lap after being first out of the pit lane following the unveiling of his sleek silver F1 W05 car, but it ended his team's track activities for the day.

"Apart from the ending, it's been quite a positive day," said Hamilton, who said it was way too early to give any assessment of the car.

"Always when you crash it's big, but it's OK. I was able to walk away, no problems," he told reporters.

Vettel's work at the wheel had not even started at that point, Red Bull's quadruple champion kicking his heels while the team fixed setup problems which had emerged overnight with their new RB10.

The German eventually emerged, after a brief squall of rain, for one installation lap.

Fans who had paid for tickets got scant value for money, with only 93 laps completed by eight of the 10 teams present on a cold day in southern Spain.   Continued...

McLaren Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton of Britain reacts as he arrives at the team headquarters in Woking in southern England November 5, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville