Maria de Villota making 'remarkable' recovery from crash

Marussia test driver Maria de Villota is making a "remarkable" recovery from a testing accident last week.

The 32-year-old hit a support truck at Duxford airfield while testing and had two operations in hospital, losing her right eye.

A team statement said:  "Despite severe injuries, Maria's recovery has been remarkable.

Maria de Villota

  • Born in Madrid on 13 January 1980
  • A former World Touring Car Championship and Superleague Formula driver, she is the daughter of ex-Formula 1 racer Emilio de Villota
  • Her first taste of F1 came at Paul Ricard in 2011, when she tested a Renault R29
  • Since 2001, she has competed in various Spanish motor races
  • In 2010 she finished fourth at the Nurburgring in Superleague Formula
  • She holds a degree in sports science from the European University of Madrid

"Her family remain by her side and she is communicating freely with them and the medical team."

De Villota was moved out of the neurological critical care unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital on Monday.

The statement said: "By Sunday morning, Maria was awake and able to speak to her family, which provided a very important - albeit early - indication that there were positive signs for Maria's recovery.

"Since that time, Maria has been making small but significant steps. She is no longer receiving sedation.

"Medical assessments are ongoing to monitor Maria's improving condition."

De Villota sustained her injuries after her car "suddenly accelerated" into the back of the support lorry, according to witnesses.

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire presenter Chris Mann, who saw the accident, said: "The top of her car and her helmet seemed to take the brunt of it.

"She didn't move for about 15 minutes."