FIA Looking Into 'Disciplinary Proceedings' Over Richard Hammond's Rimac Crash
Motorsport's mack-daddy governing body wants data from Swiss officials investigating The Grand Tour star's accident.
Richard Hammond may be on the mend with his fancy new "Swiss Army knee," but the aftermath of his horrific crash on the Hemberg Bergrennen hillclimb in Switzerland over the weekend continues to unfold. According to a new report by Motorsport.com, the FIA—the international governing body that runs everything from Formula One to World Rally Championship—has asked Swiss officials investigating the accident for their findings, with the ultimate goal of "initiat[ing] disciplinary proceedings."
Just what does the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile have to do with an incident on a shoot for The Grand Tour? In addition to running two of the largest international racing series in the world, it's also responsible for a host of smaller member organizations...one of which happens to be in charge of the Hemberg Bergrennen hillclimb where Richard Hammond sent the Rimac Concept_One flipping down a hillside on Saturday.
The famed alpine course played host to the Swiss Hillclimb Championship last weekend, and though The Grand Tour runs involving Jeremy Clarkson in a Lamborghini Aventador S, James May in an Acura/Honda NSX, and Hammond in the ill-fated Concept_One weren't part of the actual racing, the fiery accident was tied enough to a member-run event that the FIA believes it made the whole racing community 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, the member organization in charge of the event, said in a statement.
Considering that racing is inherently dangerous and flying off a mountain is always a risk in a hillclimb, we're not sure that position is entirely fair. But Motorsport.com says the investigation will center on why Richard Hammond was traveling too fast to navigate the bend after he had crossed the finish line. In Jeremy Clarkson's telling of the event on his DriveTribe page, he dismissed suggestions that Hammond hadn't adequately practiced with the car, pointing to the fact that he'd been driving the car on "motorways, airfields and closed mountain roads for four days" prior to the crash.
According to Clarkson's latest post, The Grand Tour crew has been frantically re-writing and re-scheduling shoots to accommodate the fact that Hammond won't be able to drive for a few months. But he'll be back in the office as early as next week, and Clarkson is busy drawing up a list of menial tasks he can accomplish on one leg.