Maria De Villota - image courtesy of Marussia F1Enlarge Photo
De Villota, 32, has previously driven F1 cars four times in her career, but the accident came during her first test session with Marussia. As a result of the accident, in which her car struck the rear of a support truck, with her head and helmet taking the brunt of the impact, de Villota suffered massive facial injuries, including the loss of her right eye. After undergoing reconstructive surgeries, de Villota is said to be in otherwise good health, having suffered no brain damage, according to GMMF1.
Marussia's final investigation into the crash haven't yet been released, but insiders say the team is expected to conclude the accident was due to "chain of unfortunate circumstances and mistakes," reports Auto Motor und Sport.
So what was the alleged mistake? According to GMMF1, De Villota may have forgotten to push the neutral selector button on the Marussia F1 car's steering wheel when coming in to the pits, which also included a curve, making it difficult for her to reach the clutch paddle due to the angle of the steering wheel. The car then continued under its own power, in low gear, with cold brakes and tires hindering de Villota's efforts to stop the car.
The official release of Marussia's final report is expected in the next few days.