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Lewis Hamilton Loses Brakes, Crashes Mercedes W04 In Testing

 

Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes AMG Petronas W04 - image: Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes AMG Petronas W04 - image: Mercedes AMG Petronas

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If you’re the superstitious type, you probably view a crash by F1 star Lewis Hamilton on his first full day of testing the new Mercedes W04 Formula 1 car as a bad omen. If you’re the pragmatic type, however, you’re probably glad that the team is shaking out all the bugs before the season starts.

While a crash caused by a loss of hydraulic pressure in the brakes is never a positive thing, the good news is that Hamilton walked away from the incident and the W04 chassis doesn’t appear to have sustained major damage.

As Sky Sports tells us, the incident occurred just after Hamilton delivered today's second-fastest lap at Jerez, Spain. Heading into the Dry Sack hairpin, Hamilton lost rear brake pressure in the W04, causing him to hit the gravel trap and tire barrier at the end of the straight.

It’s the team’s second incident in two days of testing, following on the heels of an electrical fire in the W04’s wiring harness that sent Nico Rosberg to the garage on Tuesday. If there’s indeed a black cloud over the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, we can only hope it passes quickly.

As for other teams testing in Jerez, Ferrari was sixth-quickest overall, with Felipe Massa reporting that his first impressions of the new Ferrari F138 F1 car “are positive.”

On Tuesday, Infiniti Red Bull driver Mark Webber delivered the second-fastest lap of the day behind the wheel of the new RB9, commenting, “the car feels pretty good, so I’m happy.”

Even Lotus F1 seems pleased with its early-season progress, with team technical director James Allison commenting, “The E21 seems fairly swift.. I’m quite chipper about it really, not a bad day.”

If there’s consensus among the teams, it’s this: with just over a month remaining before the season-opener in Melbourne, Australia, there’s still plenty of development work and housekeeping to get done.

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