Inquest heard over death of Williams F1 apprentice

Williams apprentice Daniel Cracknell sadly died due to injuries sustained from a collision with a campervan.

An inquest has taken place following the tragic death of 20-year-old Daniel Cracknell, who died last November following a motorbike crash.

The Williams F1 apprentice had been out on “one last ride”, an inquest heard, with Cracknell having been planning on putting his bike away for the winter.

The Williams apprentice sadly crashed in Oxfordshire after colliding with a campervan, leaving him with severe brain injuries which he passed from a week later.

Cracknell’s girlfriend also suffered from severe injuries, with it having been her who explained how Cracknell had been on “one final ride”.

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Whilst coroner Darren Salter recorded Cracknell’s death as ‘road traffic collision’, Thames Valley Police concluded that the incident was as a result of rider error.

“We know that he had less than a year’s experience but we have also heard that he was a good and careful driver,” Salter said.

“This was a damp road, and it was on a bend. The motorbike lost its grip and capsized.

“On the balance of probability a combination of the wet road and the speed, leading to a loss of control attributed to rider error and leading to an accident, a tragic accident, resulting in the loss of Dan and injuries to Lois as well.”

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Following his death towards the end of last season, all Williams colleagues wore black armbands at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, whilst Alex Albon had “Dan Cracknell 2002 – 2022” on his car.

Williams also flew their flag at half-mast following his tragic death.

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A statement was released by the team where they shared how “devastated” they were by the news.

The statement read: “Williams Racing is devastated at the loss of Dan Cracknell, an apprentice from the team who tragically lost his life last weekend at the age of 20 following a road traffic accident. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this extremely sad time.”

Cracknell joined Williams as a prototype and test apprentice immediately after finishing school, whom labelled him as a “wonderful student who made a great contribution to school life” and someone with a “tremendous sense of humour”.