Racing driver died after high speed crash at Tibbet's Corner, inquest hears
3:24pm Monday 20th August 2012 in News
A former champion racing driver and close friend of Lewis Hamilton died after his car ploughed into Tibbet's Corner at 78mph, an inquest has heard.
Christian Bakkerud, from Notting Hill, suffered horrific head injuries after his Audi RS6 flipped over and was ripped to pieces as he attempted to negotiate the Putney roundabout at high speed.
It finally came to a rest on top of a railing over the A3 which forced what was left of his vehicle to bend in half.
The emergency services were only called after a passer-by spotted him lying in the middle of the road.
Mr Bakkerud was found with a fractured skull and swelling of the brain - he also suffered fractured vertebrae and internal injuries.
He was taken to St George's Hospital but he never regained consciousness and died on September 15, 2011, six days after the crash.
The inquest heard he had been celebrating a friend's birthday, although his blood was never tested so his alcohol level was never ascertained.
Before retiring last year, he had been working his way up the motor racing ladder racing in Formula BMW, British Formula 3 and GP2 (one level below Formula 1).
His career highlight was a British F3 win for Carlin at Mugello in 2006. The Dane retired from motor racing in 2010 and his last race was at the gruelling 24-hour race in Le Mans, France.
Following his death last year, tributes poured in from former colleagues and friends including a touching message from his old racing team.
Boris Bermes, manager of Team Kolles, said: "Christian was a great and professional race driver, but principally a brilliant person.
"The whole team liked him very much and we have had lots of wonderful and unforgettable moments together.
"We are unbelievably sad about his death and we all will miss him."
Former formula one champion Hamilton honoured his friend by putting the initials 'C.B' on his helmet for last September's Singapore Grand Prix.
Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe, sitting at Westminster Coroner's Court on Thursday (August 16), confirmed Mr Bakkerud died of multiple injuries.
She told the inquest "Unusually, it was a high-performance car matched by a high-performance driver"
Dr Radcliffe, who described the pictures of the crash scene as being ‘the most remarkable’ she had seen in her career, recorded a verdict of accidental death.