Cambridgeshire

Maria De Villota F1 crash: Family to seek compensation

Maria de Villota Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Spaniard Maria De Villota died a year after the crash, in which she lost her right eye

The family of Formula 1 test driver Maria De Villota are considering claiming compensation over her crash.

De Villota lost her right eye at Duxford Airfield while testing for Marussia and died a year later aged 33.

On Tuesday the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it would take no action against Marussia for the crash.

But the family said they would analyse the report "to evaluate the next legal steps to claim the corresponding civil compensation from those responsible".

Manor Grand Prix Racing, which operated Marussia and now runs the Manor team, has declined to comment on the HSE's decision or the possible legal claims.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption De Villota was unveiled as a Marussia test driver four months before her crash

De Villota, the daughter of 1980s F1 driver Emilio de Villota, was injured when the MR-01 race car she was driving hit a support truck on 3 July 2012.

She had been driving at up to 200mph (322km/h), but was travelling considerably slower at the time of the crash.

It was the first time the Spaniard had driven the car for Oxfordshire-based Marussia, which folded in 2014.

Despite losing her eye, she was cleared to drive again in early 2013, but died the following October "as a consequence of the neurological injuries she suffered".

Image copyright Youtube
Image caption De Villota's car hit a lorry while testing at Duxford

One Tuesday the HSE said its investigation was complete and "no enforcement action is being taken".

Ms De Villota's family said they had been aware of the HSE's decision, adding: "To date, we are still waiting to see the contents of the report, and therefore the findings of the investigation, which are crucial to learn from.

"As soon as we have seen the report we will analyse this in order to evaluate the next legal steps to claim the corresponding civil compensation from those responsible, in order - as Maria herself always wanted - to ensure that accidents of this type never happen again."

Image caption The driver was taken to nearby Addenbrooke's Hospital for treatment

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