Hamilton crashes out, as F1 grapples with new V6 era
As Mercedes crash, fans debate whether engines sound futuristic... or like souped up scooters
LEWIS HAMILTON escaped unscathed after crashing his new Formula 1 Mercedes car into a wall, just four hours after it was unveiled at the first F1 winter testing session at Jerez.
The former world champion crashed into the barriers at turn one of the circuit after a problem with the front wing of the car, which reportedly fell off as he approached the corner.
"Witnesses have suggested that his front wing may have failed before he reached turn one in Jerez, sending him into the barriers. The car's suspension and right front wheel were damaged in the crash," reports the Daily Telegraph.
The session "ended with twisted metal and furrowed brows" says The Times, which notes that only five cars took to the tarmac as the engineers grappled with "the enormous technical challenge they have been set".
The new rules for 2014 have been billed as the greatest regulation changes for a generation in the sport. The V8 engines have been replaced by turbo-charged V6 engines and that has also led to new regulations governing the arerodynamics of the cars.
"Jerez was a very quiet place on Tuesday as even engineers and mechanics were left scratching their heads as they completed system tests to make sure the cars were ready for the track. The four-day testing session will end on Friday and will be completed by two further tests in Bahrain next month," notes The Guardian, which adds that there have been concerns that the new low noses could become a safety hazard when cars collide.
While the technicians try to figure out how best to run the cars, fans have been left conflicted over the sport's new soundtrack. "The noise – or lack of it – remains open for debate: some think the 1.6-litre engines with their whistling turbos sounded futuristic while others judged the noise to be more like a scooter engine played down a drainpipe," reports the Times.