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Former Marussia test driver Maria de Villota dies age 33

Oct 11, 2013, 3:02 AM EDT

Spain F1 Female Drivers AP

Former Marussia test driver Maria de Villota has died at the age of 33, it has been confirmed by her family.

A statement from the de Villota family reads:

“Dear friends: Maria is gone. She had to go to heaven with all of the angels. Give thanks to God for the year and a half we had left together. Signed, the Villota family.”

The Spaniard had been in Seville to launch her new autobiography “Life is a Gift” that talked about her horrific accident in a straight-line test for Marussia that saw her lose her right eye eighteen months ago.

According to a report from Radio Cadena Ser (based in Seville), de Villota was found dead in her hotel room at 7:00am on Friday morning, and despite the best efforts of the emergency services, she could not be resuscitated.

The daughter of former grand prix driver Emilio, de Villota had been one of the most prominent women in Formula One until her accident last season. Having undertaken tests with Lotus at the end of 2011, de Villota joined Marussia and played a support role to full-time drivers Charles Pic and Timo Glock.

However, in July of last year, an accident saw de Villota’s Marussia crash into the back of a team truck, leaving her with severe head injuries that resulted in the loss of her right eye. She still remained involved with Formula One after the accident though, appearing in the paddock at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this year.

Following the news, teams and drivers took to Twitter to lend their support to de Villota’s family and friends.

  1. mzfitz1215 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Whoa, condolences to her family and friends.

  2. sailbum7 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I would be nice if the article gave some information on how she died. Was it the result of some complications from injures suffered in the crash? It is sad to see someone die so young – condolences to her friends and family.

    • gerryb323 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      Suspected heart attack….natural causes….that’s all that’s out there right now. No detail available leads to no detail in stories…

    • Tony DiZinno - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Understand your concern but I’m sure my colleague Luke would agree with this, would rather wait for all facts to emerge rather than jump the gun on cause of death. Being first not as important as being right when it comes to these matters. Yes, a very sad bit of news for sure.

    • apexassassin - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      No one is publishing any definitive details that I’ve seen and I agree totally with Tony and Luke’s decision to not post conjecture.

  3. edpeters101 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Condolences to her family and friends, from (I’m sure) all of us who follow Formula 1..

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