Tuesday, July 3, 2012
The Marussia F1 team’s test driver, Spaniard María de Villota, was taken to hospital by air ambulance today after a collision in testing at Duxford Aerodrome.
At the end of her first installation run, the car she was driving had a low-speed collision with the loading ramp of the team’s support truck. According to BBC Cambridgeshire presenter Chris Mann, the car “suddenly accelerated” into the rear of the vehicle. The Marussia team released a statement an hour and a half after the accident, stating that she had been transferred to hospital, and a further statement would be issued once her condition had been assessed.
A spokesman for the East of England ambulance service, Gary Sanderson, said de Villota had “[…] sustained life-threatening injuries and following treatment at the scene by paramedics, she has been taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for further care.” According to witnesses, she was motionless for about fifteen minutes as medical teams attended to her, but did move her hands before being taken away from the test track. Medical charity Magpas, whose volunteer paramedics attended the accident, reported she had sustained injuries to her head and face, and was in a ‘stable condition’ when she reached the hospital.
Marussia reported her as conscious later in the afternoon: “Since Maria’s arrival at the hospital at approximately 10.45am this morning, she has been receiving the best medical attention possible at the hospital, which is the region’s major trauma centre. Maria is conscious and medical assessments are ongoing. The team will await the outcome of these assessments before providing further comment. The team’s first priority at this time is Maria and her family.”
De Villota was announced as Marussia’s test driver in March, having prior experience driving for Alan Docking Racing in Superleague Formula in Spain.