Richard Hammond has opened up about horror crash in the Swiss mountains earlier this month, revealing how he thought he was going to die. Hammond was pulled from the wreck of the Rimac Concept One electric supercar shortly before it burst into flames, and was left suffering from a fractured knee.
Speaking on DriveTribe, Hammond said: “I was aware that I was up high, and that inevitably the car was going to come down. And yeah of course there was a moment of dread — ‘Oh God, I’m going to die’.
“And also I was aware that the car was taking just such a beating. I mean if you look at those craters, that’s a big hole that’s just impact and it looks like the thing has been dropped from space to leave a hole that big. So yeah I was probably going, ‘Well this is it’. In fact that is what was going through my mind. I thought, ‘I’ve had it’.”
Hammond was in conversation with Mate Rimac, CEO of car manufacturer Rimac, as he opened up about the disaster.
Describing the aftermath of the crash, he said: “I was wriggling and writhing to get out which was a bit difficult because I had a normal seat belt on not a harness. I do remember saying to them drag me by my arms not my legs because I think I’ve broken that leg.”
Both Jeremy Clarkson and James May were present and feared Hammond was dead while paramedics treated him behind a screen.
Clarkson subsequently said the “inferno” crash was the “worst he’d ever seen”.
But Hammond, who was winking at one of the show’s crew minutes after escaping the car, has remained upbeat and even entertained fans with a jokey update from hospital after the smash.
He told them: “Yes, it’s true — I binned it. Again. I’m here, in a hospital in Switzerland, this is my knee, that they’re going to turn from this into this.
“They’re giving me a Swiss Army knee hopefully later today. I’d like to thank all of the medical professionals who got me by air ambulance from the crash to this hospital and dealt with me ever since.
“I’d like to say thank you as well to James May, who smuggled gin in for me last night. I shouldn’t have said that out loud. And most importantly, sorry to my wife, Mindy, and my daughters, Izzy and Willow. I’m sorry for being such a colossal idiot. More news later!”