Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton suffers crash on first day of testing. Reuters

Lewis Hamilton has crashed his Mercedes in the first day of pre-season testing at Jerez after suffering car failure.

Mercedes confirmed through their twitter account the 2008 World champion hit the tyre barrier at the first corner causing damage to the front end of his new W05 but escaped any injury.

BBC Sport suggest eye witnesses in southern Spain saw the front wing tear off from the car, which was unveiled to the media earlier on Tuesday morning, moments before Hamilton began to lose control.

It was later confirmed that front wing failure led to the crash at the Spanish venue and the incident is currently being investigated. The car's front wheel and suspension suffered light damage in the collision that left debris trailing along the asphalt.

Hamilton had completed 18 laps – the most of any other driver during the morning session – before hitting the barrier and is not expected to return to the track today.

Ten of the 11 teams have opted to take part in testing ahead of the new season with Lotus the sole team to opt out, but so far only five drivers have taken to the track in southern Spain in Mercedes, Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Sauber and Force India, as teams take the first steps in adapting to new engineering rules that will come into effect in the new F1 season.