Lewis Hamilton's first outing with the Mercedes F1 team lasted only marginally longer than new team-mate Nico Rosberg's opening run on day one of the Jerez group test.
Having seen his German colleague sidelined by an electrical failure that caused a fire on the W04 on Tuesday (5 February), Hamilton was keen to accumulate track time for his new employer, but had managed only 15 laps when the car went straight on at the Dry Sack hairpin, bouncing across the gravel before nosing into the barriers.
Although Hamilton was unscathed in the incident, reckoned to have occurred at over 150mph, the car suffered wing and suspension damage following its contact with the wall, and had to be brought back to the pits on the back of a rescue vehicle. A red flag covered the recovery process, halting action for the remainder of the eleven-strong field.
Mercedes would not initially confirm whether the accident was the result of driver error or mechanical failure, but later said that investigations led it to believe that a loss of rear brake pressure was to blame.
Hamilton had been second fastest to the point of his off, with only Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo ahead of him on the timesheets.