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Marussia F1: Car was not a factor in De Villota crash

updated 11:44 AM EDT, Mon July 16, 2012
Spain's Maria de Villota joined the Marussia team as a test driver in March this year.
Spain's Maria de Villota joined the Marussia team as a test driver in March this year.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Marussia F1 team rules out car as cause of Maria De Villota's crash
  • De Villota lost her right eye following a crash at a test event this month
  • The Spaniard needed two operations after hitting a stationary truck
  • The 32-year-old is one of just two female drivers contracted to an F1 team

(CNN) -- The Marussia Formula One team has ruled out a mechanical fault as the cause of a test crash which resulted in its female driver losing her right eye.

Maria de Villota was left in a serious condition after colliding with a stationary truck during a test event at a British airfield earlier this month, and needed two operations.

The Russian-owned marque has conducted extensive tests of the MR01 car involved in the incident, alongside investigations by British regulator the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and an external forensic body, but concluded a vehicular fault was not to blame.

Webber signs one-year contract extension

Female F1 driver De Villota in profile
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
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F1 family: The De Villotas F1 family: The De Villotas

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

"We have shared and discussed our findings with the HSE for their consideration as part of their ongoing investigation. This has been a necessarily thorough process in order to understand the cause of the accident.

"We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria's wellbeing. In that regard, we continue to support Maria and the De Villota family in any way we can."

De Villota family touched by support

De Villota, who was driving the MR01 for the first time before the crash, is one of only two female drivers contracted to an F1 team. The other, Britain's Susie Wolff, has a development role at Williams.

The Spaniard's father Emilio de Villota was also an F1 driver between 1976 and 1982.

Marussia will now continue its preparations for this weekend's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, the 10th race of the 2012 season.

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