Mercedes driver and former World Champion Lewis Hamilton kept things positive after his Turn One crash today during Formula One testing at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
Hamilton suffered a front-wing failure on the new Mercedes W05 before sliding off the track, through a gravel trap and into the tire barriers. He had completed 18 laps prior to the incident, which he took in stride.
“We had a small hiccup but we’ll bounce back from it and hopefully, it’s the first of very few for us,” he said in a team release. “When the car doesn’t stop under braking, it’s always a bit of a heart-in-the-mouth moment but I’ve had a few of those in my career so I’m used to it.
“Initially, I didn’t really know what happened; I braked but the car didn’t slow down and it’s always a little nervy in those moments. But I’m still walking and that’s the main thing.”
Other than the “hiccup,” Hamilton indicated he was pleased with the day overall.
“We had done the most laps of anyone up to [the accident] – and seeing how few cars have been going out on track today shows just how big an achievement our morning’s work had been – so I’m not concerned,” he said.
“Of course, the more running you do, the better placed you’ll be by the time you get to the first race, but to have already done this many laps in just half a day is a really good start.”
Multiple reports from Jerez say that Mercedes will be working overnight to find a wing solution in time for tomorrow, when Hamilton’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, is scheduled to jump in the W05.
“The car now needs to be repaired, which is a challenge in itself at the start of winter testing with regards to the number of spare parts available,” said Mercedes-Benz Motorsport head Toto Wolff. “However, it’s our job to cope with those challenges.”
In the meantime, a YouTube video has begun to go around that involves an at-track reporter from Spanish television network Antena 3 who wound up having the skidding Hamilton as an unexpected visitor. The footage appears to show the moment of the W05’s wing failure, followed by the British driver’s journey into the tires.