De Villota loses right eye in crash
4 July 2012 – Following her accident on Tuesday, doctors have announced that Marussia test driver María de Villota has lost the use of her right eye. The 32-year-old Spaniard, who remains in a critical condition in a Cambridge hospital, suffered a freak crash when her car struck the loading tray of a lorry.
The straight-line aerodynamic test at Duxford Airfield marked the first time that de Villota had driven the Marussia Formula 1 car, having first piloted a Renault at Paul Ricard last year. After being rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge by land ambulance, the Madrid-born driver woke up on Tuesday evening. This preceded a lengthy operation as doctors worked to attend to the serious head and facial injuries which have been suffered; surgery began yesterday afternoon and did not end until this morning.
“Maria emerged from theatre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital this morning after a lengthy operation to address the serious head and facial injuries she received in the accident at Duxford Airfield yesterday,” Team Principal John Booth says in a statement.
“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.
“In the meantime, we would all like to take this opportunity to praise the emergency services at Duxford Airfield, who were on stand-by yesterday, as is usual procedure for a Formula 1 test.”
The full cause of the incident has not yet been revealed.
“With regard to the accident, we have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment,” Booth continues. “Finally, we have been overwhelmed by messages of support for Maria, her family and the team and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for those.”
Marussia has arrived at Silverstone as usual for this weekend’s British Grand Prix, with Timo Glock returning after missing the Valencia race through illness.