Richard Hammond has retained his sense of humour after narrowly escaping a horrific car crash, telling fans in his first public statement since the accident: “I’m not dead.”
In a video post for Drive Tribe, the injured Grand Tour presenter apologised to his wife Mindy and family for being involved in yet another high-speed crash.
In the footage, Hammond – still in his hospital bed in Switzerland – is visited by co-host James May, who holds up a book next to his friend titled The Idiot Brain.
“Yes, it’s true: I binned it. Again,” he started off.
Richard then showed his fans his X-rays, which detail the injuries he sustained when his 220mph Rimac car flipped off the road and crashed before bursting into flames.
Hammond joked he’s getting “a Swiss Army knee” to replace his damaged one and thanked the medical staff for looking after him so well.
“I’d like to say thank you as well to James May, who smuggled a bottle of gin in for me last night… I shouldn’t have said that out loud,” he went on.
“Most importantly, sorry to my wife Mindy and my daughters Issy and Willow. I’m sorry for being such a colossal-”
Earlier it emerged the 47-year-old had broken his leg and requires surgery on his knee – an operation his friend the F1 presenter Sasha Martinengo said he might fly home to the UK for.
It came after the full extent of Richard’s injuries were confirmed this morning.
Sasha took to Twitter to update worried fans on Richard’s condition – and confirmed that Hammond might be able to fly home very soon.
“Hi all. Got a msg from @ RichardHammond. He is fine. He has a broken leg and needs knee surgery. He might fly home for the procedure,” Sasha revealed.
Telly stars Jeremy Clarkson and James May told how they watched in fear as Richard Hammond crashed another supercar.
His 220mph motor plunged 100ft down a hill, narrowly missing a house, and flipped several times before landing upside down and bursting into flames.
The pair ran to the scene believing their longtime telly pal “was dead”.
But the accident-prone star had crawled free only seconds before it exploded into a fireball.
And Clarkson and May found the 47-year-old lying on the ground as flames engulfed the vehicle just yards away.
One of the first things the father of two did was phone his wife Mindy from his hospital bed to let her know he was OK.
Hammond lost control of a Rimac Concept One electric car while taking part in the famous Hemburg time-trial.
He had travelled there with Clarkson and May to film scenes for their Amazon Prime show the Grand Tour.
Dramatic footage captured the terrifying moments the Rimac swerved to the right during a hill climb in Lucerne – 30 miles south of Zurich.
As Hammond approached a tight bend he appeared to lose control and the vehicle careered off the road.
May and Clarkson, who were waiting at the start line, described the sound of the crash as “like a bomb going off”. Clarkson described it as “the biggest crash I’ve ever seen”.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Mirror, the show’s executive producer Andy Wilman said: “Jeremy and James both raced down to the scene of the crash as soon as it happened. When they saw the wreckage on fire they thought Richard was dead. It was really bad.
“They were staggered he had got out of it alive because there was just nothing left. Everyone is so relieved. If Richard had been a few seconds slower getting out, he would have been incinerated.”
Hammond, who previously suffered brain injuries and nearly died after a 288mph dragster accident in 2006, was last night in a stable condition in hospital.
It is understood the accident happened at the 3.15pm local time, just seconds after he had finished the time trial.
Ambulances rushed to the scene and firefighters had to put out the blaze.
On Friday, the day before the crash, Jeremy Clarkson put out a tweet appealing for some mystery car parts.
Writing on Twitter he said: “Cash waiting for anyone who can get one of these to southern Switzerland asap. Serious request from the Grand Tour.”
But last night the mood had completely changed as Clarkson, 57, told his 6.6million followers of the horror crash.
He said: “It was the biggest crash I’ve ever seen and the most frightening and incredibly, and thankfully, Richard seems to be mostly OK.”
Producer Andy added: “I spoke to Richard at the hospital and although he was very shaken, he was conscious and quite lucid. He has had X-rays and a CT scan and is being kept in for observation by the doctors.
“All he said about his injuries was that his knee hurt a lot, which I’m not surprised about as it now has bolts in it and it is fractured. His only worry was about letting his wife and family know he was OK.
“He has been very lucky – it’s a miracle really and certainly another one of his lives gone!”
A spokesperson for The Grand Tour said: “Richard Hammond was involved in a serious crash after completing the Hemburg Hill Climb in Switzerland in a Rimac Concept One, an electric supercar built in Croatia, during filming for The Grand Tour Season 2 on Amazon Prime, but very fortunately, suffered no serious injury.
“Richard was conscious and talking and climbed out of the car himself before the vehicle burst into flames. We’d like to thank the paramedics on site for their swift response.
“The cause of the crash is unknown and is being investigated.”
A Rimac Automobili spokesman said: “We can confirm the Concept One, tested by the crew of The Grand Tour against two other supercars in Switzerland, was involved in an accident.
“The Grand Tour team assures us Richard has not suffered severe injury.”
Concerned fans last night sent get well messages to Hammond on social media. Parth Mehta wrote: “@RichardHammond why always you? Nevertheless, get well soon mate.”
Marta Lelito added: “Is anyone counting down Richard Hammond’s lives? Is it already time to lock him in a house with no door handles?”.
Hammond and co-stars Clarkson and May, 54, left Top Gear in 2015.
The motor nuts had fronted the car show since 2003.
They began filming The Grand Tour for Amazon Prime, which started on TV last autumn, after signing a mega money deal.
Clarkson is now Britain’s highest paid TV host, reportedly earning £10million a year. (The Mirror)