In 2007 a news bulletin swept the world as Richard Hammond crashed the Vampire dragster on Top Gear. He was severely injured and was later placed into a coma while he was hospitalised to aid with his recovery. Well, recover he did, with him now only linking a poor memory to the incident which could have killed him.
Now, 15 years after the crash, The Grand Tour presenter has talked to ITV about how he feels about the crash footage.
On being asked whether he found it difficult to watch the footage back, he answered:
“I think I did for a while but not so much now.”
“Not really. I have now – but not a lot, no. It was quite bumpy.”
He admitted that getting back into the car which has now been restored to its full glory, very weird.
“It came about (because) I had the guys from DriveTribe over at my place and we were trying to plan a look ahead to the year.
“And one of them said, ‘You do know that car has now been restored and rebuilt just down the road from where you live?’
“And it seemed too good an opportunity, so we rang them.”
He then revealed that he was feeling fine about it until he saw it. He said:
“You can see it on the little video on the platform – and I got in and I did go a bit quiet. It was, ‘Oh, hang on’.”
Adding to this, he admitted that he doesn’t remember being pulled from the wreckage of the car after it crashed:
“It’s weird. I remember the last time I got into this, but I don’t remember the last time I got out of it.
“So technically I must still be in it. It was a strange feeling.”
His wife, Mindy Hammond, has threatened him with three strikes, with the Vampire crash and Rimac Concept One crash being the first two. If there’s a third then she’d want him to stop presenting, at least the dangerous things like the racing they do during The Grand Tour.
Because of this and Mindy’s thoughts surrounding the Vampire dragster, Hammond didn’t tell her he was filming with it, saying he just “snuck off and filmed it”.