F1 test driver De Villota loses eye after accident
The Marussia F1 team have confirmed that test driver Maria de Villota has lost her right eye after treatment following her testing crash on Tuesday.
The Spaniard was rushed to hospital following an accident during her first run for the team at a straightline aerodynamic test at Duxford Airfield.
According to eyewitness reports, after slowing down as she prepared to return to the temporary pit awning de Villota's car lurched towards the rear of a team transporter, and collided with a tail-lift at the rear of the truck.
“Maria emerged from theatre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital after a lengthy operation to address the serious head and facial injuries she received in the accident at Duxford Airfield," said team principal John Booth.
“We are grateful for the medical attention that Maria has been receiving and her family would like to thank the neurological and plastics surgical teams. However it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.
“Maria’s care and the wellbeing of her family remain our priority at this time. Her family are at the hospital and we are doing everything possible to support them.
“We ask for everyone’s patience and understanding with regard to updates on Maria’s condition. We will provide further information when it is appropriate to do so and with consideration for her family."
Booth confirmed that the team are looking into what exactly happened to cause the crash.
“With regard to the accident, we have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment," he said.
The F1 community has sent its best wishes to de Villota, whose only previous experience of grand prix machinery was when she tested a 2009 Renault last year.
Fernando Alonso wrote on Twitter: "I just got home and found out [about] Maria's accident, we called the family and hopefully we will know more soon! All my energy with you!"
Jenson Button also wrote: "Terrible accident for Maria de Villota, Marussia F1 team test driver. My thoughts are with Maria and her family at this very difficult time."