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Female test driver for F1

2012-03-08 09:00
LONDON, England - Maria de Villota has been named as a test driver for the new Marussia Formula 1 team.

She's the daughter of ex-F1 driver Emilio de Villota who started two races in 1977 but didn't score a point. She has raced in various series and tested a Renault F1 car at Le Castellet in France in 2011.

Marussia's new MR01 car has only been tested for promotional purposes due to failure to pass mandatory crash tests (since passed) ahead of the Australian F1 season-opener.

The team said De Villota would have a chance to drive the car later in 2012.


De Villota said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with an F1 team and gain important experience to help me progress in my career. I will be joining the team trackside so I'm looking forward to working alongside them at the first race next weekend.

"This can only help my ambition to step up to F1."

Marussia's regular drivers are experienced Timo Glock and rookie Charles Pic, the latter needing as much time behind the wheel as he can get.

Formula 1 has had female drivers in the past - one of them, South African Desiré Wilson, raced in 1980 for Williams.

The most successful female driver was Lella Lombardi, sixth in the 1975 Spanish GP, but she scored only half a point because the race was halted after 29 laps after an accident that killed five spectators.

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