Top Gear’s Hamster reveals his high-speed fears

Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has admitted he sometimes gets scared driving at high speeds because of his accident two years ago.

Richard, AKA the Hamster, sustained a serious brain injury while driving a jet-powered dragster for Top Gear on a disused airfield in Yorkshire.

Asked if he ever felt afraid about his high-speed exploits now, he said: “I do sometimes. If I’m driving a very fast car or attempting a tricky manoeuvre I do sometimes sit quietly behind the steering wheel for a moment and think… I’d be an idiot if I didn’t.

“I have learned very graphically and the hardest way that things can and do go wrong.”

And the presenter said he’d never drive a jet car again: “I wouldn’t drive in a jet car again out of respect for Mindy (his wife) because it would be unfair, not that I think it would go wrong again.”

“But she went through hell and I wouldn’t put her through that again. I love her and she’s my best friend.”

Richard returned to Top Gear in January last year, although his memory of it is hazy. “I don’t remember it at all. I’ve never seen the first programme after coming back and I don’t remember much about that first series at all.

“Work has probably helped in my recovery. I’m very lucky to have a job that I love and it gave me something to aim for, a focus.”