The troubled start to Mercedes’ testing season continued on Day 2 in Jerez, as new recruit Lewis Hamilton crashed in the F1W04 after just 15 laps in the car in the morning session, due to a brake problem.
The team was unable to get the car back out on track before the end of the day.
Mercedes issued a Tweet saying, “Lewis suffered a loss of rear brake pressure, the front brakes enabled him to slow the car but he couldn’t avoid the barrier. We have traced the problem to the hydraulic brake line connecting to the right-rear calliper.”
This follows a fire on the car yesterday caused by an electrical fault, which cut short Nico Rosberg’s test day. The Mercedes has completed just 29 laps so far, at the time of writing, compared to 127 for Force India.
However, the first tests are typically for sorting out niggles and reliability issues on the car and it’s not uncommon for the first test to be punctuated by red flag stoppages for accidents and break downs. Yesterday Marussia’s Max Chilton went off when something broke in the rear suspension.
It gets more serious if teams lose time in the second and particularly the third tests. Damaging a front wing in the final test is a real setback, for example, as there isn’t much time to make new ones before the freight leaves for Melbourne. So teams sometimes find themselves short of key spare parts at the first race if they’ve had a crash in the final test.
The BBC’s Garry Anderson witnessed Hamilton’s incident and reported on BBC Sport website, “Hamilton locked his brakes going into the hairpin and went across the gravel trap and into the tyre barrier. The car has front wing and front suspension damage.”