Maria de Villota’s career and her hopes of becoming a Formula 1 driver ended nearly as quickly as they began, after a horrific crash during testing on Tuesday.
Marussia F1 Team principal John Booth issued a statement today reporting that, despite a lengthy operation to treat grave head and facial injuries, the surgical team couldn’t save de Villota’s right eye. The 32-year-old driver remains in critical but stable condition.
“It is with great sadness that I must report that, due to serious injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye,” Booth’s announcement reads.
As reported in Digital Journal yesterday, De Villota had just ended the first run in straight-line testing of the MR-01 Formula 1 car when she crashed into a parked, team support truck. She was taken from the Duxford Airfield, where the testing was being done, to a Cambridge hospital. BBC Sport reported late yesterday that de Villota had regained consciousness.
Booth did not provide additional details regarding the accident in the release but said, “We embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment.”
In March, De Villota became only the sixth woman driver in the history of grand-prix racing when she was hired as a test driver by the Marussia F1 Team. She is currently the only female driver listed in Formula 1 racing.
De Villota is the daughter of former F1 pilot Emilio de Villota and has previously logged some 300 kilometres in the cockpit for Team Lotus, now the Caterham F1 team. De Villota has also raced in Spanish Formula Three, the 24 Hours of Daytona, Euroseries 3000 and the Superleague Formula championship.