One third of the ‘Grand Tour’ trio, Richard Hammond, was involved in a horrific accident in Switzerland. He was doing a hill climb race on the $2 million Rimac Concept One electric supercar before missing a curve and falling sidewise on to the grass field. What’s surprising is that the car, though electric, went up in flames and was completely destroyed. Thankfully, Hammond’s injuries were limited to a broken knee and some bruises.
Richard Hammond has been involved in a couple of accidents over the years, most recently on his bike in Mozambique. Seeing how horrific this one seems and if you remember that gruesome crash of 2006, we should start calling Hammond a ‘Cat’ instead of ‘Hamster’ from now on.
It’s easy to call Hammond a bad driver as he can be seen to be going too fast on to the curve and completely misjudging the bend. However, you must realise that Hammond is a presenter first and an above average driver at best (though, probably much better than both you and me). The thing about electric cars that most Formula-e drivers complain is that the lack of noise makes it difficult to judge their speed. This might be the prime reason for the crash.
Now watch the video a couple of times and you might begin to think there are other reasons to factor as well. It’s not often that you see an electric car catch fire. There are no agents like gasoline in play here and circuit related problems could have caused the fire. If this is the case, then Brake failure due to faulty electricals is as good a reason to blame. It also seems that the brake lights were not lit prior to Hammond losing control.
Whatever be the case, it’s sad to see one of our favourite electric cars going up in flames. We don’t know who is going to write the check but this is definitely a big setback for the electric start-up.
More details and official reports should come out soon.