Villota lost eye in F1 crash

2012-07-05 08:16

London, England - Marussia's Spanish test driver Maria de Villota has lost her right eye and remains critically injured in hospital after surgery for face and head injuries, her Formula 1 team has said.

De Villota crashed while driving the car for the first time on Tuesday in a straight-line test at Duxford airfield in eastern of England ahead of this weekend's British F1 GP.
After completing one run and returning to the mechanics, her car suddenly accelerated into and under the back of a team truck with the 32-year-old's helmet taking much of the impact.


Team principal John Booth said in a statement: "It is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye."

Marussia said surgeons at Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital had embarked on a lengthy operation that began on Tuesday afternoon and kept the driver in theatre until Wednesday morning.

"Maria remains in a critical but stable condition," the team said. De Villota's family was with her at the hospital.

She is the daughter of former F1 racer Emilio De Villota and was appointed test driver of Marussia in March 2012, making her the only woman in such a role at the time although Williams has since handed a similar development role to Suzie Wolff.

The Spaniard has raced in various series and tried out a Renault F1 car in August 2011.

Marussia's race regulars are German driver Timo Glock, who missed the last GP in Valencia through illness, and Frenchman Charles Pic. The British-based team, formerly known as Virgin Racing, has not scored a point since its F1 debut in 2010, and has no reserve driver. De Villota lacked the necessary super-licence for the role.

Booth said the team had embarked on "a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment".

He added that Marussia had been overwhelmed by messages of support for De Villota, her family and the team.


  • christo.stone - 2012-07-05 09:19

    This is so sad :( She'll probably never be able to race again. Tragic story :(

  • James - 2012-07-05 12:10

    F1 does not come with training wheels. This PC bs of putting Women in dangerous places must stop. Navy pilot who killed herself trying to land on a Carrier comes to mnd.

      shooshyu.tu - 2012-07-05 14:05

      get a life moron, why should females not be allowed to compete in motor sports. There have been plenty of successful women in this sport. Back to your dog kennel you hateful little mongrel.

      denny.cray - 2012-07-05 17:31

      Yeah, because without a rudder between their legs there is no way they can fly planes or drive cars eh? How about judging people on their individual merits? Personally I wouldn't get involved in such a high risk sport but to each their own (be they male or female). I hope she makes a swift recovery.

      phoenix.px.5 - 2012-07-05 21:00

      Oh dear - so not only are you a ragaing homophobe but also a total misogynist! Why I am NOT surprised.

      scott.kirby.752 - 2012-07-05 22:53

      You Sir are a class A a**hole!!!!! This woman was supremely talented and pretty damn fast, sadly now she will never race again in F1, with one eye your depth perception is far too compromised for those kind of speeds...

      James - 2012-07-05 23:30

      Scott Kirby Your standards for "supremely Talented" SUCKS to put it mildly. What's your label for a Guy like Vettel....god.

      James - 2012-07-05 23:43

      Hey Shoosh, Name me ONE Woman who made it in F1 you f@@king PC addled imbecile.

      James - 2012-07-05 23:52

      And the REALITY, Her "RIGHT" to sit in a F1 seat EARNED her the right to nearly kill herself. But Alas will leave her half blind and scarred for the rest of her life. Pity she did not earn the seat.

      Phoenix - 2012-07-06 08:17

      Wow your parents must really be proud of the great job they did with you.

      erik.p.vanwyk - 2012-07-06 09:03

      James no one decided to force or "put" her into a F1 seat.Your an idiot to say the least.Surely one has to understand that...that your an IDIOT.Thats a huge insult to her,living out her life ambition (more than what you will achieve in 3 lifetimes)and having it taken away and while being in hospital the best you can do is insult her and other women,says alot about your character and moral values (or the lack thereof) What have you achieved in life that gives you the right and authority to decide what women can and can not do or what they are capable of?

      James - 2012-07-06 12:54

      Eh Erik I never said anybody forced her, but PC demands a Woman in racing. And the FACT is She is NOT qualified to drive any racecar as her record shows.

      James - 2012-07-06 12:56

      Eh FFFFeeenix, If you don't like the message don't try and skewer the messenger. I report FACTS.

      James - 2012-07-06 13:03

      Eh Erik you idiot, I did not decide what she should drive fact is she is not qualified to drive ANY race car. Her record SUCKS. And she richly deserved what she got. Gotta take responsibility "Babe" She is incompetent. Check her record you imbecile.

      Phoenix - 2012-07-06 14:55

      The fact that it is "PC BS to put women in dangerous situations" according to you? If everyone around you seems to think you are a first class a-hole, maybe the problem isn't with everyone else.

      shooshyu.tu - 2012-07-09 17:22

      Read my comment S-L-O-W-L-Y nowhere did I state competing in F1, I clearly stated "motor sports", does the name Danica Patrick ring any bells, you foul mouthed illiterate homophobic twat?

  • charlie.harvey.3154 - 2012-07-06 09:50

    Probably lucky to be alive - get better soon Maria. Needs to be fully investigated to see what caused the car to suddenly accelerate.

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