( There seems to be no point to it.... )
Doctors have said that Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has suffered
a "significant brain injury" but that they are "reasonably optimistic
he will make a good recovery."
Hammond is in a serious but stable condition at at Leeds General
Infirmary following a 300mph rocket-powered car crash.
Jeremy Clarkson, the Top Gear presenter, paid tribute to his
co-presenter Richard Hammond today.
Clarkson, speaking from the hospital where he was visiting his friend
with fellow presenter James May, said their thoughts were with Hammond
and his family but that they were looking forward to getting their
Hammond is nicknamed 'hamster' because of his short stature.
He said: "Obviously at this time both he and his family are the most
important concerns we have. It must be devastating for his wife Mindy
and his two utterly adorable children.
"I would just like to say how heartened Richard will be when I tell
him just how many motorists and truck drivers on my way here wound down
their windows to say they were rooting for him.
"Both James and I are looking forward to getting our hamster back"
Doctors at the hospital said this morning Hammond, 36, was showing
signs of improvement although he remained "serious but stable".
The presenter who is known for his daredevil stunts was filming for the
BBC programme in a jet powered dragster known as the Vampire when he
crashed on the last run of the day at Elvington Airfield, near York.
Travelling at an estimated 300mph, the dragster veered off the runway
and cartwheeled across the grass verge for more than 100 yards before
coming to a halt.
Dave Ogden, a firefighter, who was first on the scene of the wreckage,
said: "On this occasion he came through the finish line, he's got a
lever inside the car which he pulls which shuts off the fuel to the
engine and deploys a parachute which is the breaking mechanism for the
car as well as the normal breaks.
The jet-propelled Vampire
The jet-propelled Vampire holds the British land speed record: 300.3mph
"He came through the cones, the parachute deployed and Richard
somehow veered off to the right hand side and ploughed into the
Mr Ogden raced to help free Hammond who was trapped inside the racing
car which was upside down.
He said: "He was hanging upside down by his harness and he had got a
good strong pulse and we could hear him breathing against the visor of
"I wish the best for Richard and hope to see him back on Top Gear
Malcolm Pittwood, team manager for Primetime Landspeed Engineering, who
owns the car said: "It was not a record attempt. It was a TV event so
Richard Hammond could experience driving at much higher speeds than he
had ever driven at before.
"We are deeply shocked by the accident and our thoughts are with him
and his family."
He said the vehicle was operating at the highest of safety standards.
It had a roll cage, disc brakes all round, two parachutes and a safety
system for automatic shutdown.
Hammond was strapped in with 3-inch wide seatbelts "fastened as
tightly as he could bear".
The current British land speed record was set at 301mph in July by
Colin Falllows, joint owner of Vampire, which can accelerate from
0-60mph in 4 seconds and delivers 10,000 horse-power.