x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Marussia F1 test driver suffers head injuries in crash

Maria De Villota taken to hospital after crashing into a stationary lorry during testing at the Imperial War Museum ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix.

Marussia test driver Maria de Villota
Marussia test driver Maria de Villota

Maria de Villota, the Marussia test driver, was reported to be “conscious” last night after suffering what were initially described as “life-threatening injuries” in a test crash.

The 32-year-old Spaniard was taking part in her first test for the Formula One team at Duxford Airfield when she crashed into a support lorry after completing her opening installation lap.

After treatment by paramedics at the track, De Villota was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where she has been treated for head and face injuries.

A statement from Marussia said: “The team can confirm 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 10.45am 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 continuing.”

De Villota, daughter of the retired Formula One driver Emilio, was conducting a straight-line aero test at the old Second World War site.

Early theories behind the accident have suggested the anti-stall mechanism on the car kicked in as she approached a makeshift pit area, propelling her into the lorry at around 20-30mph.

It is understood the tailgate had been lowered at the time, and at such a height as for De Villota to sustain head trauma.

De Villota does not have the required FIA “super licence” to race, but had spoken of her ambition to take part in the team’s young-driver test at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in November.

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