Maria de Villota, 32, Spanish race car driver lost her right eye in an accident that took place at a test event earlier this week. Villota is the F1 first full time female racer and has been so since 1992. Her condition is reported to be critical but stable after her operation during which a surgical team worked on a lengthy procedure to repair serious head and facial injuries suffered during the crash.
The accident occurred at Duxford Airfield on July 3rd 2012 and collision took place as Villota rammed into a stationary truck at the end of her first official run for Marussia F1. Despite being at low speed, the impact was such that it took more than an hour to get Maria out of the car.
After initial treatment by trackside paramedics, she was taken to Addenbrooke Hospital where a lengthy operation ensued. This operation which started in the afternoon after her crash only concluded in the morning and though her various injuries were treated on priority, Villota has lost her right eye.
Team Principal, John Booth has initiated an investigation into the cause of the accident and the reason behind her car’s sudden acceleration. Meanwhile, compatriot driver, Fernando Alosno, said, “We are very concerned about the situation. Are difficult days for what has happened. We are in shock, but clearly we do not know the situation, because not much information about it. I do not make any judgment until we know all the information, but it seems unbelievable that things like this happen.”
Marussia statement from yesterday
“This was a planned procedure that would depend upon the continued stability of Maria’s head injuries. This morning the medical team were sufficiently happy with her progress to allow the operation to go ahead. The surgeons successfully completed the next phase of surgery required to address Maria’s facial injuries. After the lengthy initial procedure, which commenced on Tuesday and concluded on Wednesday, the secondary operation took significantly less time. Since the operation, Maria’s condition in relation to the head trauma she received has further improved, to the extent that she is now serious but stable. Whilst Maria remains acutely ill, this confirms she has been responding well to the treatment she has received since her accident. Coupled with the significant progress that has been made with regard to her facial injuries, we feel sufficiently comfortable to proceed with a further update. On a more personal note, we have taken a great deal of encouragement from today’s developments and the rather more positive signs for Maria’s family.”
Maria de Villota factfile
January 13, 1980 in Madrid, Spain.
Father Emilio De Villota was Formula One driver between 1976 and 1982. Brother Emilio De Villota Jnr is also a racing driver.
2012 Marussia (test driver)
2011 Renault (test driver)
Previous racing career:
2009 Formula Palmer Audi
2009 Trofeo Abarth Europe
2008 Euroseries 3000
2008 Italian Superstars
2007 ADAC Procar – Division I
2007 Spanish GT Championship
2005–06 Ferrari Challenge Europe
2001–05 Spanish F3