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2012-07-09 09:38

HORROR CRASH FOR F1 HOPEFUL: Above shows the remains of Maria de Villota's crashed Marussia F1 car after she collided with a truck.

Top International Automibile Federation official Charlie Whiting has described Maria de Villota's crash as a "one in five million" freak accident.

Whiting said: "It was so incredibly unfortunate."

There have been suggestions that Marussia was at fault for putting an inexperienced driver, who does not have an FIA superlicence, at the wheel of a powerful 2012 single-seater.


The fact that a truck was parked nearby with its tail lift positioned at visor height has also raised questions about negligence.

Whiting said: "I think that if Felipe (Massa)'s accident (in 2009) was one in a million, then Maria's was one in five million. The circumstances were just so unique that it was just incredibly bad luck."

Whiting said that, even at the time of Villota's incident, the FIA was already looking at ways to better protect a driver's head.

"With the kind of protection we are studying, an accident like that would be unlikely, but also the chances of repeating these same circumstances are so remote," he said. "We're looking more at the case of an impact with a wheel, because this can happen several times in a year.

"Maria's circumstances may never occur again."

Referring again to protection studies, he continued: "We can only do it as fast as we can, because it's a very complicated matter. In Maria's case, yes it (head protection with hoops) would have worked, but perhaps in many other cases the problems would be worse, like extraction or visibility.

"We have to make sure we aren't making something better for one type of accident but worse for three more."


The Kolner Express said members of the Marussia team have been banned from talking about the Villota incident.

Peter Sauber was quoted as saying: "I know as much as you do - or even less."

De Villota has reportedly woken up from an artificial coma and is speaking to her family.


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