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Maria de Villota back in Spain after Marussia testing accident


By Berthold Bouman

According to the Marussia F1 team, Maria de Villota has returned to her native Spain after her crash two weeks ago at Duxford Airfield. De Villota has been treated at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge since her crash on July 3. The Marussia test and reserve driver sustained serious head and facial injuries and lost her right eye when her car suddenly accelerated and slammed into the back of a support truck.

Maria de Villota, Marussia test driver

“Maria left Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge yesterday and returned directly to Spain,” a Marussia statement read. “Over the course of the past two weeks, Maria has made significant progress. More comfortable and familiar surroundings, plus the support of her wider family and friends, will undoubtedly provide a more conducive environment in which Maria can commence the next phase of her recovery,” the statement further read.

“The Marussia F1 Team have remained in close contact with the medical team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital since Maria’s admittance and would like to express their gratitude for the remarkable care and attention that she has received there.

“The Marussia F1 Team — the staff, race drivers Timo Glock and Charles Pic, and all those associated with the Team — wish Maria well with the next stage of her recovery. The management team will continue to liaise closely with Maria and her family and provide any assistance possible during the coming months.”

Team Principal John Booth maintains there were no technical problems with the car before the accident. “We had two priorities immediately after the accident, first being Maria’s welfare of course, that was foremost in our minds. The second was to start to investigate the cause and clear the car of any part of that of course, with Silverstone coming up. We established that but then revisited our findings straight after Silverstone and now we’re 100% confident that the car was not to blame in the slightest,” said Booth during the usual FIA Friday press conference at Hockenheim.

Booth didn’t want to reveal anything about the outcome of the investigation,, “As for the wider investigation, that is ongoing and will be a very long process, as in England it has to be, it’s taken very seriously there, as you know. It will be some time before we know the final outcome. It would inappropriate for me to comment any further on that.”

Meanwhile, Carlos Gracia, Spanish Motorsport President and FIA Vice-President, has criticised the Marussia team, he is unhappy as he thinks Marussia wants to blame de Villota for the accident. “I see it that they want to shift the responsibility to Maria, but we need to wait if she can recover her memory.”

And the Spaniard added, “In any case, even if it was a driving mistake, there was a failure of logistics, when we speak about a truck ramp that acted like a knife. It’s the same as a garage door raised to the height of a driver’s head. That’s a team failure, so there is a responsibility that certainly is not Maria’s”

Gracia will raise the issue of safety precautions during testing at the next meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

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