Lewis Hamilton crashes new Mercedes F1 car at Jerez

Mercedes suffered an early setback in Formula 1 pre-season testing at Jerez on Tuesday when Lewis Hamilton crashed the new W05

Lewis Hamilton crashes new Mercedes F1 car at Jerez

The Brackley-based team had appeared to have gained a headstart on the opposition, with its new car completing the most laps during a slow start to 2014 running.

But at 12.41pm Hamilton's car suffered a front wing failure at the braking area for Turn 1, sending him into the barriers.

Follow the Jerez F1 test on AUTOSPORT Live

According to onlookers, the wing broke and slipped underneath Hamilton's front wheels, meaning he could not steer or brake effectively to bring his car under control.

Hamilton's car speared head first in to the barriers on the outside of the corner, sustaining damage to the nose area and front suspension.

The former world champion was uninjured in the crash though, and returned to the pits shortly afterwards.

It is unclear how long the damage will take to repair, but with teams struggling to get their new cars ready for the first test it may be that Mercedes is unable to get going again before Wednesday.

AUTOSPORT SAYS...
Technical expert Gary Anderson

From what we have seen, it seems the Mercedes front wing problem was caused by a front wing pillar failure.

Normally, one side would fail first and that would lead to the other side breaking, or peel it from its fixings.

From the debris, it appears that one pillar in the remains of the wing is longer than the other, suggesting that is what happened.

The work you do in the factory is all about designing components to take the loads you expect to see at the tracks.

But the endplates can get very close to the kerbs so it's possible to put abnormal loads through them that you don't see in simulation.

It is uncommon for a team to miscalculate something like this because it's a simple load versus strength equation.

So Mercedes will be disappointed this happened after 40kms at Silverstone last Friday and 18 laps here at Jerez.

It's possible there could be a fundamental problem, which is why you have to be very careful about just bolting on the spare front wing and going back out, particularly as it's highly unlikely they would bring a stronger part as a spare just in case.

It could be that Lewis Hamilton clouted a kerb far harder than he should have, but it will be difficult to be absolutely certain about that.

You don't take risks with safety-sensitive components, particularly ones that generate 70-80 per cent of the front end downforce and 25-30 per cent of overall car downforce.

So Mercedes will take its time to analyse this very closely before sending the car back out.

shares
comments
Force India's VJM07 2014 Formula 1 car makes public debut
Previous article

Force India's VJM07 2014 Formula 1 car makes public debut

Next article

2014 F1 noses could be dangerous, says Red Bull's Adrian Newey

2014 F1 noses could be dangerous, says Red Bull's Adrian Newey
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022