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Villota crash: 'Car not at fault'

2012-07-16 13:57

LONDON, England - Formula 1 team Marussia has stated that its race car was not at fault for the crash which left test driver Maria de Villotta seriously injured.

The 32-year-old racing driver hit a support truck at Duxford airfield in England earlier in July 2012 while testing. Two lengthy sessions of surgery failed to save her right eye.

STRAIGHT-LINE TEST

Marussia team principal John Booth said: "We are satisfied the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident."

The stunning Spanish driver is reported to have "made a remarkable recovery".

Villota was injured on July 3 after a straight-line test at the Cambridgeshire airfield while making her track-testing debut and driving an F1 car for only the fourth time. She sustained her injuries after her car "suddenly accelerated" into the back of the support truck, according to witnesses. Its tail gate was down.

Marussia says it carried out a detailed analysis of the accident and an external forensic investigation was also conducted. The results have been passed on to the Health and Safety Executive.

"This has been a necessarily thorough process to understand the cause of the accident," Booth said. "We have concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria's well-being.

"In that regard, we continue to support her and the De Villota family in any way we can."

Marussia says its initial analysis after the crash had shown there were no faults with its cars ahead of that weekend's 2012 British F1 GP at Silverstone.

"Having carefully examined all the data and supplementary information available at that time, the team was satisfied that there were no such car-related issues and cleared its chassis for race weekend participation," a statement said.

Villota, a former World Touring Car and Superleague Formula driver, is the daughter of ex-F1 racer Emilio de Villota. She has a degree in sports science from the European University of Madrid and since 2001 has competed in various Spanish motor races.