Everyone wants to know more about the circumstances surrounding Richard Hammond’s crash in Switzerland—even the racing governing body FIA, who believes the crash “tainted the reputation of motorsports,” reports Motorsport.com. Hammond crashed Saturday during the Hemberg Bergrennen hillclimb while filming the upcoming season of The Grand Tour.
The FIA, which stands for Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, is the international governing body over motorsport events ranging from Formula One to the World Rallycross Championship. It’s also presides over a host of worldwide member organizations, including the Auto Sport Schweiz group which runs the Swiss Hillclimb Championship, of which the Hemberg Bergrennen is a part.
While Hammond was not a participant in the racing event itself, he drove the Rimac Concept One as part of a show run up the hillclimb course, as did his Grand Tour co-presenters Jeremy Clarkson in a Lamborghini Aventador S and James May in a Honda NSX. Hammond slid off a hillside at the event, flipping his car after passing over another road on the way down, and injuring his left knee. The Rimac burst into flames after Hammond got out of the car.
Regardless, the FIA wants to know what happened since it was at one of their member organizations’ events. A statement given to Motorsport.com from Auto Sport Schweiz regarding the investigation relays the FIA’s concern that Hammond’s crash reflects badly on the wider world of motorsport:
As the international press reported, a serious accident occurred on Saturday, June 10 2017, during “show runs” during the Hemberg Bergrennen.
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 Auto Sport Schweiz.
Our association is obliged to examine the events in detail, and to initiate disciplinary proceedings. As this is an ongoing process, we cannot provide any further information to third parties at this time.
According to Clarkson’s recount of the crash on DriveTribe, Hammond had been driving the Rimac for four days before the hillclimb, and had already completed several hillclimb runs without incident before the crash. Clarkson estimates that Hammond was going 120 mph when he left the road.