The Washington Post reports Formula One test driver Maria de Villota has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after an incident during testing. The 32-year-old Spaniard apparently collided with a team vehicle while testing her Marussia MR-01 at an airfield north of London. It was her first time in the new car, though Police say de Villota was involved in a "low speed accident" during a straight-line evaluation. Paramedics treated her on the scene before transporting her to a local major trauma center at Addenbrookes Hospital. Marussia has released a statement saying de Villota is conscious and that medical assessments are currently ongoing.

Drivers from Jenson Button to Fernando Alonso all expressed their sympathy for de Villota and her family. De Villota joined Marussia in March of this year, thereby becoming F1's first female driver since 1992. Previously, she tested for Renault and took the wheel in Spanish F3 as well as the Daytona 24 Hours.


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  • 23 Comments
      superfortress.fifi
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hope it goes well for her.
      Cadillacftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hate seeing people get injured or killed, doing something that they truly love. I hope she recovers.
      Alfredo Marín
      • 2 Years Ago
      Here's a hard photo of the crash with ramp from the truck against the helmet of the driver. Sorry about my poor english http://i.minus.com/ib2AG4zSFSs7nD.jpg http://img.motorpasionf1.com/2012/07/accidente-devillota.jpg
        hotsauce
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Alfredo Marín
        Good lord that is so unbelievably sad, those photos are hard to look at :(
      Nowuries
      • 2 Years Ago
      Best wishes for her recovery, but folks, I don't think it is fair to say "the car accelerated suddenly." Acceleration is caused by a driver input, I don't care about all this Toyota BS which has shown that it wasn't the car but rather the drivers, and her inexperience with the vehicle and its power seems to have caused the accident. Granted these large vehicles shouldn't be right in front of the paddocks, but again, the accident could have been avoided. My bigger concern is the impact this event will have on women entering F1 and motorsports in general and I appreciate the lack of chauvinist comments (thus far) on this blog. I would love to see Sabine Schmidt in an F1 car... I bet she would win some races for sure!
        Bloomsbury
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nowuries
        Eyewitnesses I heard being interviewed by the british media seemed to think it was a fault with the car, rather than the driver. The guy being interview by BBC radio said that when the F1 cars come in to stop, the driver usually stalls the car (rather than a switch or button to stop the engine), but he seemed to think that perhaps the anti-stall had gone wrong and caused the sudden acceleration when she had tried to do that.
        Rodo Gioberti
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nowuries
        Well... F1 cars have an anti-stall system so the engine is accelerated to 50% when RPM's are very low, no driver input is needed.
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      So sad, praying for her. BTW, this was at Duxford, where the Imperial War Museum's aviation museum is located.
      Bloomsbury
      • 2 Years Ago
      A horrible freak accident by the sound of things. I hope they do find out what happened though, the last thing you want is unexpected acceleration in the pit lane or where there are people around, they were lucky no one else was injured today. I wish her a full recovery and hope that we'll see her back behind the wheel again soon.
      RocketRed
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hoping for the best. My god you know I just finished watching Senna five minutes ago on the treadmill which ends with the coda that no dirver has died in F1 since Imola in 1994. So I'm seriously freaked out. I think F1 has been more lucky than good with safety. I look at the Schmacher-Luizzi accident at Abu Dhabi in 2010 which was another six inches one way or the other type of deal as killed Senna. Also Massa at Hungaroring, etc.. We get very lax when we thread those needles time and again and then stupidly assume it is because the Cars Are So Safe. They are a damned sight better than 1994, but they can and should be safer still, especially in terms of head protection.
      ksrcm
      • 2 Years Ago
      Best wishes for the driver. This said, let's see what is mind boggling about this story - even with very scarce details. She was driving a chassis that passed all FIA crash tests before being allowed to compete. The chassis that even 4 years ago allowed Kubica to walk away after he hit the wall at 120 mph and disintegrated the car. That's a very safe chassis to crash in. Except when it crashes AT LOW SPEED into a vehicle that has no business being on the race track - i.e. not better defined "team vehicle" from the article. With this in mind, when are we (in U.S.) realize that all the pushing for severe crash tests criteria is worth nothing unless we first start heavily regulating heavy trucks and heavy trucks traffic while at the same time put incentives in place to get people out of SUVs and pickup trucks?
        hotsauce
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ksrcm
        man take a look at the photos below, this was about a car driving under he ramp of a semi trailer... this is awful, not something you could blame on a car, it basically was just a whole set of variables that went wrong
        JDam4131
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ksrcm
        The car accelerated suddently and She ran right into the back of the trucks ramp....level with her head so you can imagine how no matter how strong car is, it was a freak accident and she has sustained major head trauma
          Carbon Fibre
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JDam4131
          Yes, it accelerated according to them, no one really know. In fact, didn't she had enough time to steer away? The audio clearly showed the moment the car accelerated and crashed, enough time to steer away?
      SQ
      • 2 Years Ago
      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/100907 She lost an eye.
      lance
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a sad thing to have happen.She loved racing and now her driving is over.I feel very sorry for her.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hope she's alright.
      Xedicon
      • 2 Years Ago
      After reading up a bit on other sources it sounds like she's going to be okay, minus having lost her right eye. Such a shame. Best wishes to Maria and her family during what is sure to be a hard fought recovery, but something tells me this woman has the gusto to make it through.
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