We’re sad to report that former tester for the Marussia Formula One team, Maria de Villota, was found dead this morning in a hotel room in her native Spain. The tragic news comes a year after de Villota suffered a horror crash while testing Marussia’s 2012 F1 car that cost her her right eye and ended her racing career.

According to reports, de Villota was found dead by emergency crews in a hotel in Seville and there was no sign of a struggle. Police are said to be assuming a natural death though an official comment is still due.

Maria de Villota was the daughter of former F1 driver and British F3 champion Emilio de Villota. She raced in a number of categories before joining Marussia as a test driver at the start of the 2012 F1 season. Following her crash, de Villota became an ambassador for women in motorsport and was helping to improve road safety. She was in Seville to help launch her new autobiography.

The former racing driver was only 33 years old and is survived by her husband of only a few months, Rodrigo Garcia Millan. Our thoughts go out to him and the rest of de Villota’s family.

A statement released by her family read, “Dear friends: Maria is gone. She had to go to heaven with all of the angels. Give thanks to God for the year and a half we had left together. Signed, the Villota family.”


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