Lewis Hamilton’s career at Mercedes did not make the ideal start as he crashed in Formula One pre-season training on Wednesday.
Hamilton – who was the world champion in 2008, one of his six years he spent with McLaren – signed a three-year deal with Mercedes last year.
But the Englishman lasted just 15 laps in his first appearance in the team’s new W04 car before crashing due to a braking issue.
Hamilton lost control of the car and it ploughed into a wall, with the damaged vehicle needing to be towed away.
The car had flames coming from it for a short period, but these were unrelated to the crash and came from unburnt fuel after the engine shut off as a preventative measure.
The official reason for the crash was because Hamilton lost rear brake pressure.
It did not come at a good time, with Hamilton setting the second fastest lap of the day and impressing in the new vehicle that has a new aerodynamic design and a five-element front wing.
The result capped off a poor two days for Mercedes, with Hamilton’s team-mate, German Nico Rosberg, getting just 11 laps of practice in on Tuesday before an electrical problem cut his day short.