Formula 1 News

De Villota's crash not caused by car - team

The 32-year-old Spaniard required two operations at Addendrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after the accident at Duxford Airfield that saw her run into the tailgate of a stationary service vehicle.
Monday, July 16, 2012

LONDON, July 16, 2012 (AFP) - Maria de Villota's Marussia car has been ruled out as the cause of the test driving accident which cost the Spaniard her right eye by the Formula One team.

A fortnight ago, the 32-year-old Spaniard required two operations at Addendrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after the accident at Duxford Airfield that saw her run into the tailgate of a stationary service vehicle.

Marussia, based in Banbury near Oxford in southern England, said in a statement issued Monday: "The Marussia F1 Team conducted an initial analysis immediately after the crash.

"This aimed to identify the causes and contributory factors behind the accident and also served to determine if there were any car-related implications for the impending British Grand Prix.

"Having carefully examined all the data and supplementary information available at that time, the team were satisfied 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.

"As would be normal procedure, the team's findings have been shared with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the independent UK regulator which acts in the public interest in respect of work-related accidents."

Marussia team principal John Booth added: "We are satisfied the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident.

"We have shared and discussed our findings with the HSE for their consideration as part of their ongoing investigation.

"This has been a necessarily thorough process in order to understand the cause of the accident.

"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."

De Villota, the daughter of former Spanish Formula One driver Emilio De Villota, was given a test drive by Renault last year and had previously raced in Spanish Formula Three and the Daytona 24 Hours.

Women drivers remain a rarity in Formula One.In April this year, Williams signed German touring car driver Susie Wolff as the team's development driver.

But the last woman to enter the F1 world championship was Italian Giovanna Amati, who failed to qualify for three races at the start of the 1992 season with Brabham.

Five women have entered F1 races in the past, the most prolific being Italian Lella Lombardi, who started 12 grands prix in the 1970s.

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