Hamilton unshaken after first day crash

28 January 2014 03:31

Lewis Hamilton said he was feeling positive ahead of the new Formula One season despite having his first day of testing in Jerez ended early by a minor crash.

The British driver hit a tyre barrier after his new Mercedes W05 came off the track at turn one, with the team blaming a front wing failure.

"Any crash is going to have a bump, but I don't have any (bruises) at the minute," said the Brit.

"I might do tomorrow, but I was able to walk away ok.

"It all happened too quickly. The engineers have been asking a lot of questions about it. I just got to the end of the straight and when I braked the car was a little bit higher than usual and didn't stop."

Hamilton was the first man out on the track on a extremely quiet opening day as most teams struggled to get their newly modelled cars up and running.

The 2008 world champion was also fastest when he stopped running, well over a second quicker than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in second.

And he is happy to have any faults ironed out now rather than when the action gets underway for real in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.

"For me it's an incredibly positive start to be the first car out on track and to have completed the most laps by the time we finished," added Hamilton.

"Other teams have been going out for single-lap runs, starting a few hours after we had first hit the track, so to have started running through our test programme was very encouraging.

"It's unfortunate to end the day early when everyone has worked so hard and we had looked like easily completing the most mileage of anyone here today, but we'll make that track time back and it's better to have these things happen now than in Melbourne."

Mercedes are one of only two teams not to have made any driver changes from last season and Hamilton admitted to feeling much more comfortable in his surroundings in his second year with the German team.

"It has been a little bit easier this year. I am more bedded in with the team, not coming to the factory not knowing what the departments are or what each individual is doing.

"I've had a lot more input into this year's car too, so fingers crossed that will quickly show through the race weekends."

After a second place finish behind the dominant Red Bull in the constructors' championship last season, many are tipping Mercedes as early season favourites to go even better this year.

However, despite appearing to be ahead of their rivals in the implementation of a series of new technical regulations, executive director Toto Wolff insisted it was far too early to make judgements as to how the season will develop.

"You can't take anything from the first day of testing in Jerez. We are very motivated and we wanted to be the first team out this morning.

"The car was ok but it is much too early to judge. We have to go into the first couple of weekends and see how it all pans out."

Source: AFP