The accident was said to have occurred due to a brake problem that was traced to a hydraulic line connected to the rear-right brake caliper.
As a result, Hamilton's brakes locked as he sped towards the corner at 170mph, forcing him to career over the gravel and into the safety barriers.
It was not exactly a dream start for Hamilton, who ended his lengthy association with McLaren at the end of last year to join Mercedes in a deal believed to be worth at least £15million a year.
A Tweet from Mercedes following the accident read: "Lewis suffered a loss of rear brake pressure, the front brakes enabled him to slow the car but he couldn't avoid the barrier."
"Obvious damage to the front wing and nose; we are checking the car over now. Lewis himself is fine."
Teammate Nico Rosberg didn't fare much better as he completed just 14 laps of the Jerez circuit after an electrical fault led to a small, short fire and the replacement of the wiring loom on his car.