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Maria de Villota speaks about her accident – remembers everything

By Berthold Bouman

For the first time Maria de Villota spoke about the accident she had while testing for Marussia in July this year. De Villota sustained serious head and facial injuries and lost her right eye in the accident. The 32-year old Spanish driver underwent extensive surgery several times and was in hospital for over a month. She was then moved to Spain for further recovery, but she will have to undergo more surgery, she revealed today.

Cover of the Hola! magazine with Maria de Villota

Maria de Villota remembers everything about her accident, to the Spanish Hola! magazine she said, “I remember everything — even the moment of impact. When I woke up with everyone around me, I started to speak in English as I thought I was on a FIA check-up and that the nurse was a trainer.

“My dad said ‘Please, Maria, speak Spanish, because your mother is missing half the things’, and then I became aware of everything: of what had happened, where I was and why.”

About the loss of her eye she said, “In the beginning they were covering my eye so I couldn’t see it. The first day I looked at myself in the mirror I had 140 black stitches on my face, and they looked like they had been stitched with a boat rope, and I had lost my right eye. I was terrified. I have to undergo more surgery soon, but the worst is now behind.”

Her life has of course dramatically changed, which made here realize there is more than racing to live for. “The accident has given me a new perspective about life, about the things that matter,” she said. “Before this, my life was a race against the clock, and now I see you have to stop and measure things in a different way.”

She also admitted to suffer from headaches after her crash, “I have headaches that they don’t know how long will last — maybe years. I have to control my efforts a lot because of the cranial pressure. I have also lost smell, and taste, which is linked to smell. Now I like things with a very strong taste.”

It is also understood de Villota will make a public appearance during a press conference in Madrid tomorrow, head of the Spanish Motorsport Federation Carlos Gracia will also be present.

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