F1 test driver Maria De Villota was involved in a horrific crash earlier today at Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, England while testing for the F1 team Marussia who are based in Banbury.
Her testing session came to an end after hitting a truck that was parked on the track leaving the driver with serious injuries. She was taken to nearby Addenbrooke’s Hospital after being treated at the scene by on track paramedics.
De Villota, daughter of former Spanish F1 driver Emilio De Villota, is said to have ‘inexplicably accelerated’ into a parked truck during a test drive of the MR-01. it was the first time she had tested the car during a straight line testing program.
Chris Mann, who happened to witness the accident 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.
“She came 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 top of her car and her helmet seemed to take the brunt of it.
“She didn’t move for about 15 minutes. Fire crews were there within seconds and the ambulance within minutes.
“After a while we thought we saw some movement of her hands but she appeared to be unconscious or unable to move for quite some time.”
De Villota’s injuries were said to be life-threatening according to an ambulance spokesman.
McLaren’s Jenson Button said when he heard the news:
“Terrible accident for Maria de Villota, Marussia F1 team test driver. My thoughts are with Maria and her family at this very difficult time.”
And Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who is also Maria’s compatriot tweeted:
“I just got home and found out Maria’s accident, we called the family and hopefully we will know more soon! All my energy with you!”