F1 Driver Maria de Villota in front of Marussia F1 banner

Marussia, the Formula One team of Spanish race car driver Maria de Villota, is reporting that its 32-year-old driver has lost her right eye and remains hospitalized following a bizarre accident at a test event earlier this week. Teammates have described her condition as critical but stable.

After joining the team in March, De Villota was behind the wheel of the team's racing car for the first time on Tuesday, conducting straight-line test runs at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, north of London. The Spaniard apparently crashed into a team vehicle (reported as racecar transport truck) at the end of a run at low speeds, but her head took the brunt of the impact - explaining the serious injuries to her head and face.

Maria de Villota is the F1's first full-time female driver since 1992. The team principal, John Booth, has already announced that a comprehensive investigation is under way to determine why her car suddenly accelerated as she was slowing to complete the test.

Scroll down to read Marussia's official medical update on De Villota.

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A MEDICAL UPDATE ON MARIA DE VILLOTA

Marussia Technical Centre, Banbury, UK
04 July 2012, 16.00hrs


Further to the accident at Duxford Airfield yesterday involving the Marussia F1 Team Test Driver, Maria De Villota, the Team can now provide a further update on Maria's medical condition.

Subsequent to yesterday's official statements from the Marussia F1 Team, the surgical team at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge embarked on a lengthy procedure to address the serious head and facial injuries sustained by Maria in the accident. The operation began yesterday afternoon and she was in theatre until this morning. Maria remains in a critical but stable condition.

John Booth, Team Principal of the Marussia F1 Team, with the consent and support of Maria's family, would like to give the following update, which provides as much detail as is possible at this time:

"Maria emerged from theatre at Addenbrooke's Hospital this morning after a lengthy operation to address the serious head and facial injuries she received in the accident at Duxford Airfield yesterday.

"We are grateful for the medical attention that Maria has been receiving and her family would like to thank the Neurological and Plastics surgical teams. However it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.

"Maria's care and the wellbeing of her family remain our priority at this time. Her family are at the hospital and we are doing everything possible to support them.

"We ask for everyone's patience and understanding with regard to updates on Maria's condition. We will provide further information when it is appropriate to do so and with consideration for her family.

"In the meantime, we would all like to take this opportunity to praise the emergency services at Duxford Airfield, who were on stand-by yesterday, as is usual procedure for a Formula One test.

"With regard to the accident, we have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment.

"Finally, we have been overwhelmed by messages of support for Maria, her family and the Team and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for those."