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2013-02-06 14:01

FIRST DRIVE, FIRST CRASH: Mercedes' new import from McLaren, Lewis Hamilton, took his 2013 race car into the tyre wall during testing at Jerez. Image: AFP

ALAN BALDWIN

JEREZ, Spain - Not an auspicious start for Lewis Hamilton's new career with the Mercedes F1 team.

He managed to crash his race car on the first day of pre-season testing on Wednesday (Feb 6) but stepped out of the wreck unhurt.

The car ran a straight line across the gravel run-off and went nose-first inot the tyre wall at Turn 6 - known as Dry Sack corner.

SECOND-FASTEST

The gravel slowed the car somewhat but its tracks showed the 2008 F1 World champion, 28, was mere cargo, the steering inert.

Hamilton had been second fastest with a best lap of 1min19.519 before the crash, which brought out the red flags.

Hamilton put in 15 laps before impact on his first drive after six years with McLaren - which itself had a bad start to Jerez. Nico Rosberg completed only 14 laps on Tuesday, the start of the test, after problems with the car's wiring loom left him stranded on the track with flames flaring around the rear of the vehicle. 

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