July 5, 2012
F1 test driver loses her eye
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency
Rookie Marussia Formula One test driver Maria de Villota lost her right eye on Wednesday and remains in critical but stable condition after her crash at Duxford Airport, near Cambridge, England, on Tuesday.
In a statement released by the Marussia F-1 team, it was revealed that doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge “embarked on a lengthy procedure to address the serious head and facial injuries sustained” by de Villota in the accident.”
De Villota was testing straight-line speed of the 2012 Marussia race car in the week before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Sunday, when she crashed into the team’s parked transporter truck on the airport runway.
Marussia racing boss John Booth confirmed that the 32-year-old Spanish driver — the daughter of former F-1 driver Emilio de Villota — lost her right eye as a result of the accident.
“We are grateful for the medical attention that Maria has been receiving and her family would like to thank the Neurological and Plastics surgical teams,” Booth said in the statement. “However, it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.
“Maria’s care and the well-being of her family remain our priority at this time. Her family are at the hospital and we are doing everything possible to support them.
“We ask for everyone’s patience and understanding with regard to updates on Maria’s condition. We will provide further information when it is appropriate to do so and with consideration for her family. In the meantime, we would all like to take this opportunity to praise the emergency services at Duxford Airfield, who were on stand-by yesterday, as is usual procedure for a Formula 1 test.
“With regard to the accident, we have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment. Finally, we have been overwhelmed by messages of support for Maria, her family and the team and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for those.”
When de Villota was hired this season she became the first full time female test driver in F-1 history and Tuesday was her first time in the car.