Richard Hammond’s crash – which features in the very first episode of The Grand Tour season two – has got a lot of fans talking in the hours since the new series was released at midnight on Friday 8th December.
The crash – which occurred when Hammond lost control of a Rimac Concept One while filming in Switzerland and careered off a cliff – has been widely documented, but watching it actually unfold is another thing altogether.
“I’m quite nervous. I’m suddenly nervous,” Hammond says at the start of the race as he prepares to race up the mountain route. “OK here we go, give it your best shot Rich. Watch this.”
A still from The Grand Tour season two episode one, with paramedics attending to Hammond after his crash (Amazon Prime Video)
While much of the footage was lost as onboard cameras were incinerated in the crash, the final sequence of The Grand Tour season two’s first episode pieces together what happened with the help of mobile phone and YouTube footage.
Many fans took to Twitter to share their disbelief that Hammond managed to survive, let alone to come out more or less unscathed.
One had some sage advice, suggesting that he “try to stop crashing”. Fingers crossed he tries that one for season 3.
In a recent interview with Radio Times, Hammond recounted his experience of the crash.
“I remember all of it, right from when maybe I was going too fast and went over the edge,” he recalled. “Then sky, ground, sky, ground, like being in a tumble dryer full of bricks. I thought, ‘Oh God, I’m going to die. This is it. I’ve had it.’
“When it finally stopped, I knew I’d broken my leg, and it felt as if I’d broken a load of ribs, too, but that was just bruising from the seatbelt. I was jammed there, and I couldn’t open the door. I was really struggling and flailing as I battled to get out. And then I stopped. That was when I heard crackling and realised the car was on fire. It was going up. So I thought I had better increase my efforts to get out.”
Thankfully Hammond wriggled out in time, and managed to distance himself from the vehicle before it went up in flames.
He says that while the film does form part of the new series, he would rather his family doesn’t watch it.
“I genuinely didn’t like it, and I don’t think [wife] Mindy or the girls should see it,” Hammond said.
New episodes of The Grand Tour series 2 drop Thursdays on Amazon Prime Video.