by Sportsmail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 10:28 EST, 4 July 2012 | UPDATED: 03:59 EST, 5 July 2012
Marussia test driver Maria de Villota has lost her right eye in the wake of Tuesday’s accident at Duxford Airfield.
The 32-year-old Spaniard is described as being in a ‘critical but stable’ condition after undergoing considerable overnight surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Team principal John Booth said: ‘Maria emerged from theatre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital this morning after a lengthy operation to address the serious head and facial injuries she received in the accident at Duxford Airfield.
‘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.’
Before the crash: Maria de Villota speaking and in the Marussia car at Duxford Airfield on Tuesday morning
Horror smash: Marussia test driver de Villota was injured when her car hit a team truck
Maria de Villota factfile
Born: January 13, 1980 in Madrid, Spain.
Family: Father Emilio de Villota was Formula One driver between 1976 and 1982. Brother Emilio de Villota Jnr is also a racing driver.
F1 career: 2012 Marussia (test driver)2011 Renault (test driver)
Previous racing career:2009 Formula Palmer Audi2009 Trofeo Abarth Europe2008 Euroseries 30002008 Italian Superstars2007 ADAC Procar – Division I2007 Spanish GT Championship2006–07 WTCC2005–06 Ferrari Challenge Europe2001–05 Spanish F3
‘However it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.
‘Maria’s care and the well-being 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.
‘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.
‘With regard to the accident, we haveembarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment.
‘Finally, we have been overwhelmed bymessages of support for Maria, her family and the Team and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for those.’
‘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 I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.’
De Villota wastaking part in her first test for the Formula One team at Duxford Airfield on Tuesday morning when she crashed into a support truck after completing her opening installation lap.
After treatment by trackside paramedics, she was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Wreckage: Emergency workers gather around the car, which remained wedged under the lorry it crashed in to
According to eyewitnesses, the accident occurred after de Villota had pulled up in front of her mechanics after completing her first lap of the day.
As the mechanics approached to wheel the car back for service, it accelerated forwards and crashed into the stationary vehicle parked nearby.
The front of the Marussia car was destroyed in the crash and de Villota’s helmet was seen to impact with the side of the truck.
DeVillota was reportedly motionless for around 15 minutes as paramedics attended to her but was seen to move her hands before being transported to hospital.
BBC Cambridgeshire presenter Chris Mann, who was at the Imperial War Museum-owned airfield when the accident happened, said the car ‘inexplicably accelerated’ into the backof the team’s parked support truck.
Scene of the crash: Emergency workers and Marussia F1 staff at Duxford Airfield
Racing in the blood: de Villota is the daughter of former Formula One driver Emilio de Villota
He said: ‘She got into the car, fired it up and did a test run at probably about 200mph in the rain.
‘The car was slightly misfiring but there didn’t seem to be any concerns.
‘Shecame back into the area we were in with the engineers. she slowed down but then suddenly, inexplicably accelerated through the crowd and smashed into the side of the truck.
‘The driver’s helmet was impacted on the side of the truck,’ he reported. ‘It just happened suddenly, a very shocking incident.
‘The car slowed down as you see happens during a grand prix, for it to then be reversed into the pits which was actually a tent. But at the last second it just suddenly accelerated again so by the time it hit the truck, it was doing 30 or 40 miles an hour.’
He added: ‘It appeared to me that she wasn’t moving for about 10 or 15 minutes. we saw her move her hands after about a quarter of an hour and it took almost an hour for the ambulance (staff) to feel confident to take her out of the car.’
De Villota is the daughter of Spanish former F1 driver Emilio de Villota.
She was appointed test driver of Russian-licensed Marussia in March, making her the only woman in such a role at the time although Williams have since handed a similar development role to Suzie Wolff.
Marussia’srace regulars are German driver Timo Glock, who missed the last grand prix in Valencia through illness, and Frenchman Charles Pic.
The team have no reserve driver and de Villota lacks the necessary super-licence for the role.
She was given a test drive by Renaultin August last year when she clocked up just under 200 miles, and has previously raced in Spanish F3, the Daytona 24 Hours, the Euroseries 3000 and Superleague Formula Championship.
Duxford testing: Maria de Villota was driving for F1 team Marussia
Big chance: Marussia hired the Spaniard after a test for Renault last year
Site of the crash: Views of Duxford Airfield (above and below), where de Villota was seriously injured
De Villota loses an eye after extensive surgery following crash during testing