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Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes F1 test crash caused by brake issue

Lewis Hamilton crash, Jerez February 2013Lewis Hamilton's accident on his first day of Formula 1 testing for Mercedes was caused by rear brake problems, his team has confirmed.

The Briton ran off the track and straight on into the crash barriers at the Dry Sack hairpin after just 15 laps of testing on Wednesday.

Television footage showed tyre marks running off the track and across the gravel trap, before Hamilton had nudged the barriers, knocking the front wing off.

Mercedes confirmed shortly after the accident that Hamilton's issues had been related to the rear brakes, and that the driver was completely unhurt.

"Lewis suffered a loss of rear brake pressure, the front brakes enabled him to slow the car but he couldn't avoid the barrier," wrote Mercedes on its official Twitter account.

The team concluded that the problem started in the hydraulic brake line to the right rear caliper. It is now working on aero and suspension repairs in the hope of getting Hamilton back out in the afternoon.

Hamilton's accident delivered more frustration for Mercedes, which had to cut short its running on Tuesday because an electrical problem on the car forced it to rework its wiring loom.

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