Freddie Flintoff: New reports reveal how 'apprehensive' Freddie was before crash as former Stig speaks out
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The 45-year-old former cricketer suffered serious facial injuries and broken ribs when a car he was driving for one of the show's stunts crashed at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey last winter.
Since the incident, filming for Top Gear has stopped indefinitely and Freddie has rarely been seen in public, with few updates being issued on both the show’s future and the Prestonian’s condition.
Earlier this month, Freddie was pictured publicly for the first time – with his facial injuries still clearly visible – and the sighting has sparked renewed media interest in the star and the crash.
Last week, it was revealed that Freddie’s final words before the incident were “Do I need a helmet?” and now a new report over the weekend has further suggested the father of three’s apprehension at the time.
According to the Sun, a source said: “Freddie voiced his worries about the safety of the stunt on set on the day of the accident.
“He questioned whether or not it was OK, given the vehicle and conditions on the track.
"He was apprehensive before he got behind the wheel and production staff at the track were aware of this.
“He was obviously used to taking part in these stunts during his time on the show, but alarm bells were ringing.
“It has been openly discussed since the accident by Top Gear employees, who are in doubt whether the show will ever return to screens.”
Representatives for Freddie and the BBC did not comment on the Sun’s claims, although earlier this year the latter did say “We have sincerely apologised and will continue to support him with his recovery.”
The latest revelation about Freddie’s reported anxiety before the crash came in the same week that a former Stig spoke to GB News about the incident.
Former Formula 1 driver Perry McCarthy, who was Top Gear's first Stig, was asked by presenters what his reaction was to the news that Top Gear had been halted due to the crash.
In response, Perry, said he found it “bizarre” and hard to comment on because everyone has been “kept in the dark” about what actually happened, as he urged the BBC to reveal the specifics behind the crash.
In another part of the interview, Perry suggested that better procuderes would need to be in place in future so that Top Gear can continue to have good presenters.
The former Stig, who featured in the first two series, told GB News: "Freddie's background is a sportsman, he's highly competitive, but it is not driving.
“And sometimes I feel that maybe there's a bit of a need to contain the enthusiasm to protect enthusiastic and talented drivers like Freddie or talented personalities like Freddie from themselves.”
Offering his advice, Perry said: “So not to lose the thrill of good presenters on there - sure, you can have them go fast, but it would appear to me as if they're going to need better procedures there.
“Maybe from somebody from my background, even working with presenters to just say, 'Look guys, this is the wrong time, a wrong place to go quickly,' because something's happened in that accident.
“We've not been told about it, but judging by Freddie's injuries, it appears to me that the car has maybe gone upside down. And then it's a question of what kind of crash helmet was he using. Because I would never advocate going out with a half-face crash on it. It would always be a full-face crash helmet.
“I think it was a crash helmet situation with Freddie and sadly that is something I personally would have spotted from the outside.”