Richard Hammond battles car trouble on 'punishing' Grand Tour drive

The star's Aston Martin overheated and malfunctioned on his latest trip for the series

Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx201712/7/17Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May at a promotional event for 'The Grand Tour', with a new season about three middle-aged men rampaging around the world having unusual adventures, driving amazing cars, and engaging in a constant argument about which of them is the most annoying.
Richard Hammond had trouble on his latest road trip. (Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX)

What did you miss?

Richard Hammond has admitted he tackled his latest Grand Tour stunt in the wrong car after running into a sea of problems.

The TV star and motoring enthusiast got back on the road with his co-stars Jeremy Clarkson and James May for Sand Job, their penultimate special after deciding to wrap up their hit Amazon Prime series. The trio head to Mauritania in Northwest Africa to recreate the Paris-Dakar race in sports cars they enhanced – but Hammond had endless problems as he drove in dusty, hot conditions.

The star tackled the trip in an Aston Martin, and during a chat with Yahoo for Origin Story said that thinking about how good the special would look kept him going "especially if, like me, you chose the wrong car to do it in, which I undoubtedly did".

What, how, and why?

James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond return in The Grand Tour: Sand Job. (Prime Video)
James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond have gone on another adventure. (Prime Video)

During the trip, Hammond’s Aston Martin overheated, and his Sat Nav decided that he was somewhere in the UK rather than Mauritania.

His air conditioning also stopped working and started to beep all the time, and Hammond found himself having to plug into the software and reset the car because it kept doing things by itself, such as opening and closing the windows.

“It's hot, my God, it's a very dry heat and we're experienced travellers but trying to stay hydrated and still functioning was hard, and it punished the cars beyond belief,” he said.

However, Hammond said despite the trouble he had the show “was an absolute joy to make”. "It's a real satisfaction, even when you're exhausted, and hot, and dehydrated, frustrated with your car because it's not working," he said.

"You've got hours of driving ahead and it's punishing but [you're] looking outside and thinking, 'That looks incredible and I know there's a crew over there who are going to be capturing it, and it's gonna look amazing and that'll translate through the television', then it keeps you going."

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return in The Grand Tour: Sand Job. (Prime Video)
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return in The Grand Tour: Sand Job. (Prime Video)

When is The Grand Tour ending?

Hammond, Clarkson and May started The Grand Tour in 2016, after their departure from the BBC’s Top Gear. It has been a huge success but in 2023 it was confirmed that the programme was coming to an end. Its final special will air this year.

The Grand Tour: Sand Job is out now on Prime Video. The show’s final special will air on the streamer later this year.

Read more: The Grand Tour

Watch: Richard Hammond: 'I couldn't earn a living' before Top Gear