Open Battle
Baku 2018
Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Motorsport world rocked by tragic death of Maria de Villota
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Oct 2013   |  8:11 am GMT  |  115 comments

The motorsport world is in mourning for Maria de Villota, who was found dead in a hotel room in Seville. She was 33.

According to the BBC, a police spokeswoman said: “We are assuming it was a natural death, but we cannot confirm anything.”

De Villota rose to prominence in the last year as a campaigner for safety after she lost an eye in a testing accident with Marussia F1 team at Duxford in the summer of 2012. She became an ambassador for the FIA and appeared on the platform at the FIA Sports Conference week in Goodwood in June, speaking about safety.

“I should not be here,” she said. “Last year I had my accident on 3 July. I woke up on 7 July and the doctors said I was a miracle. We cannot forget that motorsport is dangerous. I hear the word accident but for me an accident is something like a tsunami or being struck by lightening. You can not avoid them.

“Things that you can avoid are not accidents, so there is still a lot to do. The first thing is a regulation on aero testing in airfields. It’s not regulated. In Formula 1, we go into detail in the pursuit of excellence.

“When I go into schools and I see all children, they ask me what the best thing about Formula 1 is. I say it’s not about the speed, it s not about the glamour. It’s about doing things in the very best way. We need to do a lot more.”

She appeared in our JA on F1 July podcast from Goodwood.

A note from her family on her Facebook page this morning said simply,

“Dear friends: Maria has left us.

“She had to go to heaven like all the angels. We thank God for the extra year and a half he left her with us.”

A statement from Marussia team said, “It is with great sadness that we learned a short time ago of the news that Maria de Villota has passed away.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Maria’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

De Villota, the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, had been in Seville to take part in a media event around her new book all about her experiences.

Featured News
Editor's Picks
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

RIP Maria de Villota. Sincere condolences to her family.

John in San Diego

Very sad to read this shocking news. Sincere condolences to Maria’s family.


Incredibly sad news… What can you say when something like this happens? She should have been here for years to come to help inspire other women. I guess in a way, she still will be. God rest her soul….


What an unfortunate woman,RIP, Maria! Has anyone noticed during Friday’s practice sessions? Everyone on the grid looked unusually heated and jumpy?


very sad. RIP Maria


An angel’s gone back home. RIP Maria.


Such sad news. Funny how motorsport “connects” people. Was feeling all nostalgic after murry interview & this news makes me feel sad. Not the time to speculate about cause of death & accident investigations. Maria, your course was cut short, but you have surely left a legacy.


How very shocking and sad. My heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Maria.

Will Bernie allow a minutes silence on the grid? I sure hope so.

Maybe us folks here on JA can remember Suzuka 2013 being ran in Marias honour.


Very sad, I wish her family peace in a difficult time, it is a shame they did not have her for more time but at least they had a year and a half of grace.


Well said. She was a charming, warm lady with great determination. Would be a mark of respect if the teams agree to leave the front row empty on Sunday.


Terribly sad. Hope the family can find at least some consolation in the fact that she was admired and loved by so many around the world.


We have MotoGP in Sepang this weekend…a race that is hard to take following Marco Simocheli tragic incident. And now this…Maria. May her soul rest in peace. Also…RIP Marco Simoncheli (we will never forget you no.58).


John in San Diego

Sadly, we also lost Dan Wheldon around the same time as Marco.


I have no interest in speculating as to wether her tragic death was linked to the accident, or trying to blame anyone for it.

I just think it’s desperately sad that such a vibrant young person with so much ahead of her has gone.


She paid a high price for her short career – a tragedy all round.

I didn’t agree with her safety in F1 point of view… too much of anything is bad.



My first reaction reading the news was ‘shocked’. How can someone so young have ended her life so quickly?

RIP, Condolences to her family and love ones.


Life is too short

vaya con dios


I knew personally Maria for a number of years, also her brother and her father, and still have great friends in common. I still remember the first race I saw her on person, some twelve years ago, it was a junior single seater formula. In one race she lost the nose of the car in an incident but she recovered through the field bravely to finish second. It would be her most defined skill through her career: determination. She was a lovely young woman with an incredible passion for motorsport, and always wanted to emulate her father who was British F1 Champion (the Aurora championship of the seventies) and once 4th at Le Mans. For any of us that have daughters who love motorsport because of their daddies, we have to feel for Emilio her father who should be passing the most difficult day of his life.

Thread the Needle

Very very sad news, she had a real passion for F1

RIP Maria


It’s so sad, she seemed to be a very positive, energetic and connected person. And a very strong one. May her positive energy stay with us as long as possible. RIP


Oh no..RIP Maria.

I hope you they will have a moment of silence for her this weekend at the grand prix.


Really sad new that affected me so much. My condolences to her family. Thank you – Gracias por todo María.


Such a lovely girl, and a great pity she’s gone. I suspect some aspect of the injury she received has caused this which we’ll no doubt learn in due course. I can only echo the feelings transmitted by many others for her family and friends at such a sad and difficult time.




Start working at home with Google! It¿s by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link,


Rest in Peace Maria. Condolences to her family and friends.


She passed away at the age of Christ, condolences to Family, RIP Maria.


Triste noticia y lamentable perdida. Mi mas sentido pésame a su familia. May she sleep among the tall trees.

Top Tags
JA ON F1 In association with...
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer

Sign up to receive the latest F1 News & Updates direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!