Global Motorsport Media/Motorsport.com
Jul.3 (GMM) Marussia test driver Maria de Villota is reportedly fighting for her life after crashing on Tuesday morning.
The female driver was straight-line aerodynamic testing the single seater raced in Formula One by Timo Glock and Charles Pic at the Duxford (UK) airfield. The incident came in what was the first time that de Villota had actively tested the Marussia MR-01 car.
She had just completed her installation lap and had slowed to be backed into the team's support tent when the car unexpectedly accelerated to about 40mph, where the car collided with the front of the semi-trailer that was serving as the Marussia team's support truck. The car hit the front of the truck, where the cab would be attached, and de Villota's helmet appeared to have taken the brunt of the impact.
- Maria de Villota suffered life-threatening impact as her head reportedly hit a trailer
- Car was in pits after a lap and suddenly re-accelerated to 40mph to hit truck
- Unsubstantiated reports are that she moved her hand after 15 minutes of no movement
“The driver's helmet was impacted on the side of the truck,” BBC Cambridgeshire presenter Chris Mann said in London's Daily Mail. “It just happened suddenly, a very shocking incident. The car slowed down for it to be reversed into the pits which was actually a tent. But at the last second it just suddenly accelerated again so by the time it hit the truck, it was doing 30 or 40 miles an hour.”
"It appeared to me that she wasn't moving for about 10 or 15 minutes," Mann continued. "We saw her move her hands after about a quarter of an hour and it took almost an hour for the ambulance (staff) to feel confident to take her out of the car."
"Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed a further statement will be issued," the statement added.
De Villota is the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota and joined Marussia as a test driver at the start of this season, becoming the sport's first full-time female driver since Giovanna Amati tested for Brabham in 1992. The Spaniard had previously tested for Renault and had competed in Spanish F3 as well as the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.