F1 test driver Maria battling for life after crash

July 3rd, 2012 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Formula One test driver Maria de Villota has sustained life-threatening injuries in a crash during testing in Cambridgeshire, the Marussia team and local ambulance services said Tuesday.

De Villota was due to carry out a straight-line aerodynamics test at Duxford airfield, and hit a team vehicle after an installation lap, Marussia said.

“A woman has sustained life threatening injuries and following treatment at the scene by paramedics, she has been taken to Addenbrookes Hospital for further care,” Gary Sanderson, a spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service, said in a website statement.

De Villota, 32, from Spain, was testing the car for the first time since joining Marussia in March.

“The accident happened at the end of her first installation run and involved an impact with the team’s support truck,” Marussia said on the team website.

“Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed a further statement will be issued.”

Strict rules govern the amount of on-track testing F1 teams can do, although the rules are looser for straight-line aerodynamic tests, which typically take place on airfield runways.

De Villota’s father Emilio competed in three F1 races in the 1970s, while she has competed in series such as Formula Palmer Audi and Spanish Formula Three, which have traditionally served as routes to Formula One for young drivers.

She tested a Renault F1 car at the Paul Ricard circuit in France last year.

British-based Marussia was formerly known as Virgin Racing until Russian supercar manufacturer Marussia bought a controlling stake last year.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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