Marussia F1 team has issued a carefully worded statement today saying that after internal and external investigations into the accident at Duxford this month which hospitalised Maria de Villota, a technical problem with the car has been ruled out.
John Booth, the Marussia team principal said, “We are satisfied that the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident.”
Although the report does not say it explicitly, the implication is that the accident was down to the driver. De Villota, the team’s test driver, who had just completed the first straight line aero testing run of the day, was manoeuvring at low speed close to the team’s test base off the main runway when the car ploughed into the back of a truck. The tailgate impacted with her crash helmet and she has subsequently lost an eye and had extensive reconstructive surgery on her face.
The Marussia team has forwarded the results of its investigation to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) which is responsible for all regulation of accidents in the workplace.
The team statement says, “Having carefully examined all the data and supplementary information available at that time, the Team were satisfied that there were no such car-related issues and cleared its chassis for race weekend participation.
Following its initial investigation, the Team proceeded to carry out further detailed analysis of the accident. An external forensic investigation was commissioned and carried out at Duxford Airfield (a FIA-approved and much used testing venue, compliant with the recommendations for a test of this nature) and with the team at the Marussia Technical Centre in Banbury. This external analysis has been carried out autonomously of the team’s own internal investigation.”
Booth added that the team is focussed on De Villota’s wellbeing, “We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria’s wellbeing. In that regard, we continue to support Maria and the De Villota family in any way we can.”