Maria De Villota - image courtesy of Marussia F1Enlarge Photo
Maria De Villota, a test driver for the Marussia F1 team and the only woman currently driving in Formula 1, has sustained serious injuries in a testing crash at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshie, England.
According to the Daily Mail, De Villota had just completed a testing lap and had returned to the pit area.
As the crew approached the car, it suddenly accelerated out of the pits and into the side of a Marussia support truck.
De Villota’s head reportedly struck the side of the truck, and a spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service described her injuries as “life-threatening.” If there’s good news to be had, the Spanish driver was reported to have regained consciousness and had demonstrated motion in her extremities prior to being transported from the scene.
A statement on the Marussia Team website reads, “At approximately 09.15hrs BST this morning, the Marussia F1 Team’s Test Driver Maria De Villota had an accident in the team’s MR-01 race car at Duxford Airfield where she was testing the car for the first time. The accident happened at the end of her first installation run and involved an impact with the team’s support truck.”
“Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed a further statement will be issued.”
We’ll update you on De Villota’s condition as soon as we know more.
Update - Marussia has released an additional statement as follows:
“Further to the accident involving the Marussia F1 Team’s Test Driver Maria De Villota this morning, the team can confirm that Maria was transferred by ambulance from Duxford Airfield, where the accident happened, to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
“Since Maria’s arrival at the hospital at approximately 10.45hrs this morning, she has been receiving the best medical attention possible at the hospital, which is the region’s major trauma centre. Maria is conscious and medical assessments are ongoing. The team will await the outcome of these assessments before providing further comment.
“The team’s first priority at this time is Maria and her family.”