The Marussia team has confirmed that Maria de Villota has lost her right eye and remains in a “critical but stable condition” following her accident at Duxford Airfield on Tuesday.
The Spanish test driver, carrying out her first day of straightline aerodynamic testing for the team, made contact with a support truck at the end of her first installation run in the MR-01 and following treatment by paramedics was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. The 32-year-old regained consciousness at the hospital but was confirmed as having sustained serious head and facial injuries.
On Wednesday afternoon Marussia provided an update on her condition, the team confirming that surgeons at the hospital “embarked on a lengthy procedure to address the serious head and facial injuries sustained by Maria in the accident. The operation began yesterday afternoon and she was in theatre until this morning. Maria remains in a critical but stable condition.”
Team principal John Booth thanked the medical team for their ongoing work but confirmed that they had been unable to save de Villota’s right eye.
“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,” he said in the statement. “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.”
Booth also paid tribute to the local emergency services while confirming that an investigation was underway at the team to determine the cause of the accident.
“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 One test,” he said. “With regard to the accident, we have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment.
“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.”