Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 13:56 UK

Hammond recovery 'still ongoing'

Richard Hammond
Richard Hammond was treated for swelling to the brain after his accident

Top Gear's Richard Hammond says he is still recovering from the effects of a high-speed crash which took place while filming for the show three years ago.

Speaking about Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa's recent crash, he said "any damage" could "take years to get over".

"I know that for me, three years later, the process is still ongoing," he wrote in his column for Top Gear magazine.

Hammond had been driving a 300mph jet-powered dragster when it veered off the track at Elvington airfield, near York.

I damaged the front of my brain in my crash in 2006 and the thought of someone else having to set off on the lengthy journey to recovery from such an injury was a glum one
Richard Hammond

The presenter, now 39, was airlifted to hospital after the September 2006 accident, where he was treated for serious brain injury.

He eventually made a good recovery, returning to present Top Gear in January 2007.

Earlier this week, Brazilian Massa, whose skull was fractured when it was hit by a spring from another driver's car while qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in July, said he was determined to race again.

Writing for Top Gear magazine, Hammond said: "I damaged the front of my brain in my crash in 2006 and the thought of someone else having to set off on the lengthy journey to recovery from such an injury was a glum one."

"But every time I read that he [Massa] hopes to return to racing in F1 soon after sustaining that head injury, I'll admit that my shoulders slump a bit."

He said Massa's accident stirred memories of "being desperate more than anything else to 'get back' - to go to work, to be normal again".



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