Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, England was where the Marusia F1 team was conducting tests with 32 year old Spaniard Maria De Villota and after completing a test lap, had pulled in for a pitstop. As the crew approached the stationary F1 car, it suddenly accelerated out of the pits and into the side of a Marusia support truck.
<!--more-->The F1 car had inexplicably collided with the back of a team’s transporter tail-lift at roughly 60kmh, causing her life-threatening injuries due to trauma inflicted to both her face and head upon impact and was trapped in the car for a considerable amount of time before emergency services were able to get to her.
De Villota, before being whisked away in an ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, remained motionless for about 10-15 minutes before she was able to regain consciousness and was able to demonstrate motion in her extremities. Ambulance staff took another hour till they were confident enough to move her from the car and to the trauma facility, where she thankfully remains in a stable condition.
Team Marusia is still investigating the cause of the incident, though speculation is pointing the car’s anti-stall device, which may have inadvertently kicked in.
De Villota is the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio De Villota and is currently F1’s first full-time female driver since Giovanna Amati (ITA) with the Brabham team in 1992. De Villota had previously tested for Renault and had racing experience in Spanish F3 and the Daytona 24-Hour race.
Source: The Washington Post
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