Jerez: Britain's former world champion Lewis Hamilton had a minor accident on Wednesday during his first day of testing for his new team Mercedes in Jerez.
The 28-year-old, 2008 champion, was on his 15th lap of timed testing when he drove the brand new car straight off the track and piled into a barrier of tyres without sustaining any noticeable injuries.
The session was immediately brought to a halt, while German teammate Nico Rosberg was only able to complete 14 laps before calling it a day on Tuesday, following electrical problems that caused a minor fire.
Despite the problems which are possibly linked to a faulty front suspension, Hamilton has high hopes for the upcoming season that begins on March 17 in Melbourne.
"There is no company with a longer history in Grand Prix racing than Mercedes-Benz and it is an honour for me to tread in the footsteps of legends like Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss and Michael Schumacher." Hamilton told the Mercedes website.
"It's the start of a new chapter for me, a new adventure
Rosberg who has just one victory on the circuit in 128 starts says he is also well prepared for the new season in his fourth year with the English-based team.
"I've been working really hard over the winter on my physical preparation, both in the mountains - climbing to over 2,000 metres with ski boots - and also in the Mediterranean, training on my bike, swimming and running.
"The atmosphere in the team is very positive and the people are highly motivated to succeed. And, of course, I have a new team-mate with Lewis (Hamilton).
"It's his first time in the Silver Arrow and I look forward to working together and pushing each other hard, to make this the best team in Formula One."
Germany's Sebastian Vettel will be gunning for a fourth straight driver's crown as the campaign begins in Australia and will feature 19 races until the final Grand Prix on November 24 at Sao Paulo, Brazil.