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'Analyse accident' - F1 drivers

2012-07-06 07:33

DE VILLOTA CRASH INVESTIGATION MOOTED: F1 drivers have called for investigations to be conducted into the crash this week at the Duxfield aerodrome where Marussia test driver Maria de Villota was seriously injured.


SILVERSTONE, England - Formula 1 must analyse the safety implications of the freak testing accident that left Spanish racing driver Maria De Villota critically injured and minus an eye, F1 drivers believe.

The daughter of former F1 driver Emilio De Villota lost her right eye after her car suddenly accelerated into the lowered tailgate of a parked team truck at Duxford airfield in eastern England on Tuesday.

She remains in hospital (July 7 2012), her condition described as critical but stable, after night-long surgery on face and head injuries.


Villota is a test driver for the Marussia team but this was only her first time in the car and she was taking part in a private straight-line aerodynamic test ahead of the 2012 's British F1 GP at Silverstone. Such tests are often carried out on airfield runways approved by the governing FIA and with a medical team in attendance, by relatively inexperienced drivers who only have to turn the car at the end of each run rather than negotiate a proper circuit.

Veteran HRT driver Pedro de la Rosa, a compatriot of Villota's and chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, said: "We will put the facts on the table to see if there is anything we need to change to improve. When an accident happens, it means something didn't work properly.

"We need to make sure we make changes for the future because it's not good enough."


Ferrari's Brazilian Felip Massa, who suffered life-threatening head injuries when his helmet was hit by a bouncing spring at the 2009 Hungarian F1 GP, agreed that an investigation was needed. "She has 100% of my support," he added, "I suffered similar injuries and thank God nothing happened to me. The most important thing is to understand what happened -  the FIA needs to understand as well, to put everything in place for maximum safety."

The accident shocked the F1 community, with messages of support pouring in from well-wishers to Villota, her family and team. Compatriot F1 drivere Fernando Alonso said the news had been hard to come to terms with.

"Obviously we are very worried for this situation because we are still waiting for some more news," he said. "We don't know all the information so it's difficult to talk about the reasons until we know the official version but at the moment, it's so difficult to imagine how this can happen."

BBC Presenter Chris Mann reports on the crash


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