Williams Racing’s team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix paid tributed to a “talented” apprentice who lost his life in a motorbike collision.

Daniel Cracknell was a prototype and test apprentice in the Williams Formula One team, which is based in Grove, and died the weekend before last following an incident on a motorbike.

The 20-year-old’s death was described by the Williams team as “tragic” and paid homage to him at their final race of the year in the United Arab Emirates capital.  

READ MORE: Work begins on Oxford's The Plain to improve it for cyclists

Oxford Mail: The team wore black armbands in Mr Cracknell's memoryThe team wore black armbands in Mr Cracknell's memory (Image: Williams F1)

The team wore black armbands in his memory and Mr Cracknell’s name was proudly emblazoned on the team’s motor.

As well as this, Williams F1 HQ in Grove flew its flag at half-mast as a mark of respect to the apprentice.

A spokesperson for Williams Racing said: “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.”

Mr Cracknell’s former school, Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham, said he was a “wonderful student” and the school community has been left “shocked and saddened” by his death.

Prince Henry’s headteacher Dr Tony Evans and Assistant Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form Mrs Clare Webb released a joint statement on November 14.

They said: “We were extremely shocked and saddened to learn of the death of a former student, Daniel Cracknell, following a motorbike accident.

Oxford Mail: His name was emblazoned on the Williams motorHis name was emblazoned on the Williams motor (Image: Williams F1)

“Dan attended Prince Henry’s from 2015 to 2020; after leaving school Dan gained an apprenticeship at the Williams Formula One team in their Prototype and Test department.  Today, the flags at the Williams site have been at half-mast, the team staff will be wearing black armbands at the forthcoming Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi this weekend and the race cars will bear his name.

“One of our Senior Prefects during 2019-20, Dan played a full and active part in school life, including supporting other students as a Maths Buddy and being an enthusiastic member of the Vex Robotics group.

Oxford Mail: His school described him as a wonderful student His school described him as a wonderful student (Image: Prince Henry's High School)

“Mrs Cox, who was his form tutor in Years 12 and 13, remembers someone with a tremendous sense of humour who always enjoyed getting involved in group activities during Tutor Time. 

“His subject teachers commented upon what a hard-working, excellent and talented student he was. 

“In short, Dan was a wonderful student who made a great contribution to school life and exemplified all of the values that are so important to us at Prince Henry’s.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Daniel’s family at this incredibly sad and difficult time.”


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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