Rare blip for Mercedes as Hamilton stalls on final test day

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) The usually faultless Mercedes experienced a rare blip Friday on the final day of preseason testing when Lewis Hamilton stalled at the pit lane exit shortly before the end of the morning session.

While Sebastian Vettel clocked a leading time of 1 minute, 22.852 seconds in his smooth-running Ferrari, Hamilton’s car had a transmission problem and went back to the garage for further assessment.

The previous seven days of testing were incident-free for Mercedes, as Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg proved the ultra-reliability of the W07 car by logging considerably more laps than their rivals.

Hamilton was on medium tires when the incident happened, so the British driver did not get to test out the new ultra-soft option ahead of the Australian Grand Prix on March 20.