The accident was caused by a front-wing failure, according to his team, who had unveiled the car earlier in the day.
“It’s unfortunate to end the day early when everyone has worked so hard,” said the 29-year-old Englishman whose Grand Father was born in Grenada.
“But we’ll make that track time back and it’s better to have these things happen now than in Melbourne.”
The new season gets under way in Australia on 16 March.
“The car feels quite good, especially considering it’s so early in our programme,” said Hamilton, champion in 2008.
“Overall it’s been a positive day.”
Eye-witnesses said they saw the front wing come off Hamilton’s car before he lost control and hit the tyre barrier at the first corner.
The car’s right front wheel and suspension were affected but otherwise the damage appeared relatively light.