Lewis Hamilton drove his new Mercedes into the barrier during Formula One's first preseason session only hours after its unveiling.
Hamilton emerged unscathed from the crash that his team said was caused by a front wing failure.
Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg presented Mercedes' silver-and-turquoise W05 before testing got under way, and the former champion was the first to take his car out and the first to complete a full lap at the Jerez track.
He drove into the barrier at turn 1 midway through the session, leaving debris and long tire marks before he went off the asphalt.
Many teams struggled
So far, few drivers have ventured out as teams struggle with new engineering rules that have caused them to revamp their cars.
Of the five drivers who have taken to the track in southern Spain, only two have completed laps so far.
Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari also had problems when he drew the first red flag after doing six laps and his car was put on the back of a truck.
Sauber's Esteban Guiterrez, Sergio Perez of Force India and Jean-Eric Vergne have also completed circuits around the course in Jerez in Spain.