Skip to main content

F1 driver de Villota loses eye after test crash

updated 9:00 AM EDT, Thu July 5, 2012
Spain's Maria de Villota was recruited by UK-based Marussia as a test driver in March.
Spain's Maria de Villota was recruited by UK-based Marussia as a test driver in March.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Maria de Villota loses her right eye after an F1 crash on Tuesday
  • The Spaniard has surgery after sustaining serious head and facial injuries
  • Marussia team investigating how the accident at a British airfield occurred
  • De Villota is one of only two female drivers contracted to an F1 team

(CNN) -- Maria de Villota has lost her right eye after a crash at a test event, her Formula One team, Marussia, announced Wednesday.

The Spaniard, one of only two female drivers contracted to an F1 team, underwent surgery after running into a stationary truck at a British airfield on Tuesday.

A statement from the Russian-owned team said that the 32-year-old had sustained "serious head and facial injuries" and that she had been in theater overnight at Addenbrooke's Hospital in the English county of Cambridgeshire.

"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," team principal John Booth said.

Family or F1? Female driver chooses the track - for now

Female F1 driver De Villota in profile
In the pits with Lotus F1 Team
Former Formula One test driver Maria de Villota passed away aged 33. "It is presumed to be death by natural causes," a National Police spokeswoman said Friday. Former Formula One test driver Maria de Villota passed away aged 33. "It is presumed to be death by natural causes," a National Police spokeswoman said Friday.
Maria de Villota: 1980-2013
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
F1 family: The De Villotas F1 family: The De Villotas

"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 well-being of her family remain our priority at this time. Her family are at the hospital, and we are doing everything possible to support them."

Tuesday's test was the first time De Villota had been behind the wheel of the MR01 car, and Booth said Marussia officials are investigating the accident.

"We have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened, and this work continues for the moment," he said.

"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."

De Villota was recruited by UK-based Marussia -- formerly known as Virgin Racing -- in March, having driven in Spanish Formula Three, the Euroseries 3000 and the Daytona 24 Hours.

The Madrid native is the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, who raced between 1976 and 1982.

Pit-lane pioneers: Women in Formula One

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
ADVERTISEMENT