The Grand Tour presenter seems in good spirits

Richard Hammond is lucky to be alive after losing control and rolling a Rimac Concept One while filming the second season of The Grand Tour on Sunday in Switzerland. He was able to escape the exotic car, despite it landing on its roof, just before the rare electric supercar burst into flames. His left knee wasn’t so fortunate, however, with it sustaining serious bone fractures. Hammond was airlifted by Swiss emergency services to a nearby hospital where doctors are preparing for surgery. Hammond seems in good spirits in a short video update shot for Drive Tribe, Hammond, Clarkson, and May’s website. “Yes, it’s true,” Hammond says in the video. “I’ve binned it. Again.” Holding his X-ray, he says doctors are preparing to turn his knee into a “Swiss Army Knee.”

This isn’t the first time The Hamster has “binned” a vehicle while filming. In 2006 while shooting for Top Gear, Hammond suffered a brain injury when he lost control of a rocket-powered dragster. A speedy recovery allowed him to return to filming a few months later alongside Clarkson and James May. Thankfully, Hammond’s knee injury is far less life-threatening, and will hopefully require even less time to recover. We’ll bring you more news as it develops.

Continue reading for Clarkson and May’s accounts of the crash.

”I genuinely thought he was dead”

Richard Hammond Recovering From Surgery After Surviving Fiery Crash
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Hammond actually escaped the car under his own power before lying on the ground.

According to individual recounts from Clarkson and May on Drive Tribe, the trio was finishing up the hill climb event, having made several previous run up the Swiss mountainside. Clarkson finished first as was waiting at the finish line. Hammond was making his run, followed by May at a 30-second start delay. The crash happened as Hammond overshot a tight turn near the finish line, with his car rolling down a grassy hill.

May arrived at the scene first, slowed by caution flags vigorously waved by race officials. Stopping his Acura NSX, May scramble out to see two marshals dragging Hammond’s limp body by the writs away from the wreckage. However, May didn’t see what happened just 15 seconds prior. Hammond actually escaped the car under his own power before lying on the ground. Moments later, the car began to burn and the race marshals decided move Hammond further way from the fire.

Clarkson arrived on scene around this time to find Hammond being triaged behind a paramedic’s curtain. Not having the gumption to see his longtime friend in a broken state, Clarkson’s security guard ran down the hill to check on the situation. “I genuinely thought he was dead,” Clarkson recalled in his update for Drive Tribe. Seconds later, the radio crackled to life with words from the security guard, “It’s all right fellas. He winked at me.” May says he leaned Hammond’s condition when a sound technician reported he could hear Hammond talking coherently to paramedics through his still-working microphone.

Both Clarkson and May posted their accounts of the accident on Drive Tribe. Hammond’s hospital-bed video update is also on the website, which can be seen here.

2017 Rimac Concept One High Resolution Exterior
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The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Clarkson says Hammond had spent four days driving the Rimac Concept One, “driving the car solidly, on motorways, airfields, and closed mountain roads.” Hammond had also done several runs up the hill climb that day, so a lack of familiarity in the car or circuit should not be a factor. Clarkson said a deeper explanation would be coming in the next series of The Grand Tour.

Read our full review on the Rimac Concept One here.

Source: Drive Tribe

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