Organizers of a Swiss hillclimb event have been fined and suspended over the crash in which Richard Hammond lost control of a Rimac Concept One in a curve. The $5,000 fine is a drop in the bucket compared to the loss of the $1 million electric hypercar, which was incinerated.
The Rimac left the mountain road, cartwheeling down a steep incline and narrowly missing a house before landing on its roof and burning. Hammond crawled from the wreckage and suffered a fractured knee.
Hammond was not a participant in the Swiss Hillclimb Championship. He and his co-hosts of Amazon’s “The Grand Tour” were there filming a segment. Jeremy Clarkson was driving a Lamborghini Aventador S, and James May was driving a Honda NSX. Clarkson said on Twitter that Hammond’s Rimac accident “was the biggest crash I’ve ever seen and the most frightening.”
From the video, it appears that Hammond entered the curve too hot on the Hemberg Bergrennen hillclimb, and simply lost control. He later did a video interview that gave his take on the crash. The Swiss sporting authority, Auto Sport Schweiz, in levying the fine, said the event had violated the FIA’s code of conduct. It’s a little unclear exactly wha’s meant by that, but the FIA had started looking into the crash immediately after it happened back in June, basically on the grounds that it made racing look bad.
“This accident tainted the reputation of motorsports in general and mountain races in particular, and the FIA has been forced to demand an opinion from [us],” Auto Sport Schweiz said in a statement at the time.
In addition to the fine, the hillclimb director and three stewards were suspended for six months. Motorsport.com says the future of the event is in question. Surely we’ll learn more about the circumstances of the crash when “The Grand Tour” second season begins in October.