The Washington Post

F1 test driver Maria de Villota conscious after crash

Maria de Villota was seriously injured after a test run in a Formula One car. (Mark Thompson / Getty Images)

De Villota, 32, sustained head and facial injuries when her car accelerated and struck a a support truck after she had completed her opening lap at Duxford Airfield in England. Audio of the accident can be heard here; it contains profanity and is harrowing. A spokesman for the ambulance service that attended her initially called her injuries “life-threatening” and British media reported that she was fighting for her life. Marussia, in a statement, said she had regained consciousness at a Cambridgeshire hospital.

“Maria is conscious and medical assessments are ongoing,” Marussia’s statement said. “The team will await the outcome of these assessments before providing further comment. The team's first priority at this time is Maria and her family.”

Former Formula One driver Emilio de Villota told the Daily Mail that he had spoken briefly to his daughter before he left Spain to join her in England. She is the first full-time female F1 driver since Giovanna Amati of Italy and had Spanish F3 and Daytona 24-Hour experience.

Chris Mann, a BBC Cambridgeshire presenter who saw the crash, said that “the top of her car and her helmet seemed to take the brunt of it. She didn't move for about 15 minutes. It was an absolutely awful moment. I was surrounded by people that knew her very well, including family, friends, engineers, and her manager.”

Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.


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