On Tuesday we brought you the news that Marussia F1 test driver Maria De Villota had been critically injured in a testing crash at Britain’s Duxford Airfield. After completing a shakedown lap, De Villota was slowing to enter the pits when the car suddenly accelerated, striking the rear lift gate of a parked support truck.

A statement on the Marussia F1 website advises that the driver received serious head and facial injuries in the crash, and that despite the best efforts of the surgical team, doctors were unable to save the Spanish driver’s right eye.

De Villota remains in critical but stable condition, and the extent of her other injuries are unknown at this time. The Marussia F1 team has praised the efforts of the first responders at Duxford Airfield and the doctors at Addenbrooke Hospital, and says it has been “overwhelmed” by messages of support for Maria and her family.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, with the focus being on the car’s anti-stall system. Anti-stall systems are designed to keep the engine running in the event of a spin, and are activated when wheel speed drops below a set threshold value.
The systems are designed to disengage the clutch, making De Villota’s accident that much more puzzling.

We wish De Villota and her family all the best during her recovery.