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Hamilton Crashes Mercedes On Opening Day Of Testing

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(CNN) – Lewis Hamilton endured a nightmare start to testing his new Mercedes after driving straight off the track at Jerez on his first day following a hydraulic problem Wednesday.

The 2008 world champion, who left McLaren at the end of last season, was on his 15th lap of timed testing when his car went off the track and hit a barrier of tires.

Hamilton’s accident, which prevented him from returning to action, follows teammate Nico Rosberg’s disastrous run which was ended by a minor fire Tuesday.

The German’s car was found to have been suffering with electrical problems, while Mercedes took to Twitter to give an update on Hamilton’s setback.

“Lewis suffered a loss of rear brake pressure, the front brakes enabled him to slow the car but he couldn’t avoid the barrier,” said Mercedes on Twitter.

“Obvious damage to the front wing and nose; we’re checking the car over now. Lewis himself is fine.

“Update from Jerez, we have traced the problem to the hydraulic brake line connecting to the right-rear caliper.”

Hamilton is expected to return to the track on Friday following the collision, which saw the car career on straight for some 70 meters at 280 kilometers per hour.

Meanwhile, Russian team Marussia has replaced Timo Glock with Brazil’s Luis Razia as its second driver for the 2013 season.

The 23-year-old, who finished as runner-up in last season’s GP2 series, will partner fellow rookie Max Chilton when the campaign starts in Australia on March 17.

“It’s fantastic to be back with the Marussia F1 Team and with pretty much the same group of people I worked with back in 2010 when I was reserve driver,” Razia told the Marussia website.

“I am very proud to take the step up to a Formula 1 race seat, particularly with the team I began this journey with, since they helped show me what it takes to progress to the highest level.

“The past two seasons in GP2 have been all about proving that I have what it takes and that I’m ready.

“I am also looking forward to the first race in Melbourne and I’m excited to be racing alongside Max, who I competed against last season.

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