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Valencia day two - Hamilton safe after test shunt 25 Jan 2007

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren. McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 Launch, Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia, Spain, 15 January 2007. World © Sutton.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was uninjured after crashing heavily during testing at the Valencia circuit in Spain on Thursday. However, damage to his MP4-22 machine means he will be forced to sit out Friday’s session.

Hamilton was enjoying only his second day at the wheel of McLaren’s 2007 car, as he prepares for his Grand Prix debut in March. It is unclear whether the crash was due to driver error or mechanical failure and the team are currently investigating the cause.

Prior to his off, Hamilton had completed 33 laps in cold and overcast conditions, clocking a best time of 1m 12.596s - just under a second down on team mate Fernando Alonso, who managed a quickest time of 1m 11.698s from his 76 laps.

Hamilton's damaged chassis is expected to be returned to McLaren’s Woking base in the UK for repairs, leaving world champion Alonso to wrap up the team’s three-day Valencia programme on Friday.