Maria de Villota, Marussia, Duxford, 2012

De Villota loses right eye after Duxford crash

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The Marussia team have confirmed test driver Maria de Villota has lost her right eye following her crash at Duxford Aerodrome yesterday.

In a statement issued on Wednesday the team said her condition remained “critical but stable”. She suffered “serious head and facial injuries” in the crash and underwent a lengthy surgical procedure 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 yesterday.

“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 that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.

“Maria?s care and the wellbeing 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 have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment.

“Finally, we have been overwhelmed by messages of support for Maria, her family and the Team and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for those.”

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118 comments on “De Villota loses right eye after Duxford crash”

  1. While I am glad to hear she is recovering, its sad to hear about her losing her eye, and I guess the surgeons will have had some hard work on her face as well.

    1. How did this happen? Does anyone know why thcigar engine turned on in such a delicate and precise situation ?

    2. The car *

      1. Some media in Spain since to believe that it was a driver mistake…

        1. thay said due to her lack of experience, car slow down to about 30kph, anty-stall kick-in and she made some mistake and car rapidly accelerate and hit trailer…
          thats link to some explanatory photo below

  2. This is so sad :(

    Best wishes to her and her family. Hope she manages to recover

  3. I feared the news would be worse but still hoped it might be better than this. What a dreadful thing to have happened.

    1. I share those sentiments. Reading the headline of this article made me feel awful. This is almost incomprehensibly sad, and to think it could have been worse…

      1. sid_prasher (@)
        4th July 2012, 18:01

        The headline left me numb….this is just so sad.

    2. Likewise. That’s really really sad news.

    3. I hope she makes it.

    4. I felt the same.

    5. +1, although early reports lead me to believe that injuries were superficial.

    6. So sad. Sounds like she is stable though. So that, at least, is a good thing.

    7. xeroxpt (@)
      5th July 2012, 4:19

      Losing an eye must be one of the worst things that could happen to someone.

      1. Probably not the worst thing for a chef, or a writer perhaps, but an F1 driver… yes.

        I hope she finds work in her field that satisfies her. Maybe as a driving coach, or as another member on an F1 team.

        1. Losing an eye isn’t necessarily the end of her driving career. There have been a number of one eyed racing drivers. Most famously Tommy Milton won the Indy 500.

          Monocular vision does represent a disadvantage, though maybe not as much as might be thought: http://bjo.bmj.com/content/85/5/619.full

  4. What a shame. At least she is alive.

    1. My sentiments exactly. With a direct helmet impact this could’ve been far worse.

      Can’t help but feel very bad about this. Here’s hoping she recovers as well as possible.

  5. Really really sad news. :-(

  6. I feel really sorry for De Villota and her family, that’s such awful news.

  7. What terrible turn of events, but hopefully her health will improeve…

    My best wishes are with her and her family, sadly is pretty safe to say her career is over…

    Marca.com made this graphic to ilustrate how it all happened…

  8. that’s devastating! Glad to hear she’s alive but no doubt this is the end to her f1 racing career

  9. PJ (@pjtierney)
    4th July 2012, 16:13

    :(

  10. While I am very glad to hear that she is relatively all right after the accident, I had still hoped that she would be fine. Like really fine.
    Get well soon Maria. Best wishes!

  11. I’m absolutely devastated and shocked by this news. :(

  12. Really gutted to hear this. I know it could have been worse but… well it could have been better.

    If any positive could be drawn from this, it’s that serious accidents like this one often serve to highlight areas where safety could be improved, meaning that De Villotta’s accident could mean safer racing for people in the future.

    What a sad end to her racing story.

  13. Terrible news. Her career is over :(

    1. Not necisarily, There are a fair few drivers out there racing with sight only in 1 eye.

      Paul Drayson is one example, He raced successfully in the ALMS for a few years winning overall at Road America & he ran Le Mans in 2009/2010.

      1. So maybe she could be part of a Marussia sportscars entry then in the future. Thanks for this piece of information GT_Racer

  14. In any case, I think the accident is going to further raise concerns about the safety of a driver’s head. It could strengthen the case for a closed cockpit.

    1. @atticus-2 Probably, but it was a very weird accident. If anything, I think they will have a look at straight-line tests like this one looking for better safety.

    2. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
      4th July 2012, 19:43

      I’m sure you’re right, but to be honest, that concerns me. I still believe statistically, the odds are far greater for failure of whatever mechanism they devise to close the cockpit (potentially trapping a driver in the event of a fire or a serious crash), than they are for more freak accidents like this one and Massa’s. I understand they want to do everything they can to improve driver safety, but I have yet to see anything proposed for a closed cockpit that doesn’t bring to my mind at least 5-10 ways it could go horribly wrong if everything doesn’t function perfectly 100% of the time. I just don’t like those odds.

      As to the news of Maria, I’m just in shock. While she’s definitely lucky to be alive (seeing the photo from yesterday, frankly she was lucky to not have been decapitated), I was really hoping her injuries would somehow not be so serious. All my thoughts are with her and her family, and I hope she has the speediest and fullest recovery possible. Such a pointless accident (I’m still amazed there was a truck anywhere near a moving F1 car with protrusion that a driver would likely have a hard time seeing, let alone one at cockpit level).

      1. QOTD –

        “I’m sure you’re right, but to be honest, that concerns me. I still believe statistically, the odds are far greater for failure of whatever mechanism they devise to close the cockpit (potentially trapping a driver in the event of a fire or a serious crash), than they are for more freak accidents like this one and Massa’s. I understand they want to do everything they can to improve driver safety, but I have yet to see anything proposed for a closed cockpit that doesn’t bring to my mind at least 5-10 ways it could go horribly wrong if everything doesn’t function perfectly 100% of the time. I just don’t like those odds.”

      2. @leucocrystal

        potentially trapping a driver in the event of a fire or a serious crash

        Closed cockpits have been a feature of endurance racing for decades and I can’t think of any examples of this happening. Can anyone else?

        I can, however, recall several instances of drivers surviving appalling accidents where the added protection offered by a canopy surely helped their chances of survival – the two huge Audi crashes at Le Mans last year spring to mind.

    3. @atticus-2

      It could strengthen the case for a closed cockpit.

      Not at all. There is a difference between Maria de Villota’s accident and Felipe Massa’s in 2009. It wasn’t speed or driver experience or the object they hit. The difference is that, while equally-tragic, Maria de Villota’s accident was entirely avoidable.

      A cockpit canopy probably would have done wonders for de Villota. She may not have been injured at all. But if somebody had thought to move the team transporter away from the marquee, this never would have happened.

      I’m not accusing Marussia of recklessness or complacency here, or even a lack of thought. Two days ago, it never would have occurred to anyone that an accident like this could have happened – and yet, it did. When Marussia arrived in Duxford, they probably did what they (and everyone else) have always done when they set themselves up for the test. And unfortunately, circumstances combined to result in ts accident.

      There is one good thing that will come of this: this will never happen again. The Formula 1 community watched on in horror as de Villota’s accident unfolded, and you can bet that every team will take pains to prevent something like it from happening in the future.

      So while a cockpit canopy probably would have done wonders, the fact is that this accident was as avoidable as it was tragic. So a canopy isn’t needed because teams will now be very conscious of where they park their transporters.

  15. On the one hand it’s terrible news that she’s got such horrible injuries but on the other hand it’s great to hear that she’s alive and in a stable condition. I’ve heard reports that she’s been conscious after the accident and talked to her family so hopefully that means she hasn’t suffered any serious brain injuries.

    On a less serious note, I don’t think she’ll have a career in Formula 1 after losing the sight in one eye, plus she’s already 32 years old. Having said that hopefully she’ll get well enough to get back into some sort of racing if she chooses to.

    1. Is the same that happened to Helmut Marko, without it he can get a super license for sure…

  16. This is terrible news – I hope Maria recovers from her other injuries swiftly. Nice to see the support from Alonso et al on Twitter.

  17. Glad that she’s getting OK but I can’t be happy at all. In my opinion she was set to be the next woman in F1. Destiny is cruel sometimes, it happened to Kubica and now to Maria. The best of luck to her on whatever she does next, although sadly it won’t be any type of racing. Maybe she can get involved in motorsport in some way.

  18. I’m deeply saddened by this. Her life has changed and that’s probably her career gone too.

  19. Sadly, this ends any hope of her ever driving in F1. But it should not stop her from having a solid career in the paddock if that is what she wants to do. Helmut Marko is a very good example of this.

    1. Agreed, this is crushing for a female driver, they find it so hard to get anywhere near an F1 drive and when one gets within reach of it, it gets taken away so cruelly. Glad she is not serviously injured though.

  20. As @atticus-2 said, I hope they learn from this accident and don’t just accept it as something that happens. We learned from Senna’s death, surely we can learn from Massa’s skull fracture and De Villota’s eye loss?

    1. We already have learned from massa’s skull fracture. The large advertising strips you now see on the visor of F1 drivers’ helmets are filled with a flexible composite webbing which effectively covers the ‘weak point’ between the helmet and the visor. In theory this means that an accident like Massa’s should be far less likely these days.

  21. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    4th July 2012, 16:33

    This is terrible, just terrible but at least she’s alive. Just goes to show how lucky Felipe Massa was to escape from his crash with his eyesight intact, as he almost lost the use of his left eye.

  22. For those talking about her racing career been over.

    THe FIA changed there policy in 2009 & now grant an international racing licence to drivers who only have sight in 1 eye providing they show well in national championships.

    There are drivers out there racing & even winning despite having sight in only 1 eye. Paul Drayson is one example, Raced & won in the ALMS & raced for 2 years at Le Mans despite been blind in 1 eye.

    Providing she still has good sight in her remaining eye, There’s no reason for this to be the end of her racing career.

  23. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    4th July 2012, 16:41

    To echo many of the sentiments expressed on here so far, I’m shocked and saddened to hear she has paid such a price in this accident but I am still glad to hear she is still stable. I hope she recovers as well as she can quickly.

  24. I was half-expecting worse news when I saw the first news-flash yesterday morning, in that sense it’s good that the news wasn’t worse, but this still seems so awful. Hopefully that is the full extent of the long term damage and she makes a quick and full recovery in every other regard.

  25. Its obviously awful news, for her and her family. It is sad to hear, but she will walk away from this with her life and you cant put a price on that.

    As mentioned by GT_Racer, a return to racing is a possibilty on an international license (such as Paul Draysons example).

    But thats all in the future, the important thing now is to recover.

  26. This is so sad to hear, I really feel sorry for Maria right now as her life will never be quite the same again. It isn’t the end though and I’m sure there’s a bright future for her somewhere in motorsport. This just demonstrates though that the quest to improve safety must not stop and there needs to be continued research into cockpit protection.

  27. Terrible news, i hope at least this is all the bad news we’ll hear.

    Lets not use a freak accident to try and push closed cockpits etc, F1 doesn’t need them and it would ruin the sport. In this case not leaving a loading tray down at the drivers head height anywhere near a moving vehicle was all that was needed and i think the team need to look at themselves very closely.

    1. But we’ve already had Surtees’ death and Massa’s crash as well. How many “freak” accidents do you suggest we ignore?

      1. I say we shouldn’t ignore any of them.
        Massa’s incident gave an impulse to the strips shielding the part of the helmet where the visor opens, its small things like this that help safety improve over time.

        1. Didn’t Surtees’ death cause wheel tethers to be reviewed and strengthened across all FIA-controlled open-wheeled sports?

      2. As has been discussed before, closed cockpits could cause more problems than they solve in F1 due to the open wheel nature of the cars.

        Personally, I’m in favour of a front roll hoop (or several lighter ones that enable better visibility than the one tested) which would have prevented yesterday’s injury.

        By the way, it wasn’t commented on much at the time, but Kovalainen’s right rear tether did no job at all in his montreal crash and no one seemed to ask why or mention it. They still need to improve.

        1. I had a go at visualising a closed cockpit McLaren using some sort of high strength plastic (or something). Link

          Don’t think it looks too bad to be honest. Not sure where the window wipers would go though!!

        2. The wheel tethers are designed to prevent the wheels flying off in high-energy incidents (i.e. high-speed spins). Accidents like Kovalainen’s are both fairly slow and the wall absorbed the tyres energy, so even though the tether failed (because the drive shaft basically disintegrated) it wouldn’t have probably mattered anyway.

  28. Oh god, this is so, so sad :/

    I like to believe that drivers are ready to pay whatever price when they strap on the helmet, fully knowing of the risk driving these cars, but for this to happen to her in her first try in an F1 car – something that must have felt so incredible to her – is just too cruel. I really hope she recovers well and keeps on with her motorsport career if she so choses.

    1. @guilherme Didn’t she test a Renault last year? Anyway, fully agreed. They all know and accept the risks, but noone can ever expect such a terrible thing.

      Hopefully that’s all the bad news we’ll get on her.

  29. Absolutely terrible news: I didn’t realize it was that serious. I hope she will have a speedy recovery and will be able to race again in the future.

  30. sad…very sad :(

  31. Very sad news indeed. I hope the rest of her recovery goes smoothly. It’s amazing how quickly life can change.

    Surely the days of truly open cockpit racing are numbered? I’ll be sad to see it go when it does, but in years to come people will look back at it in the same way we do now when we see drivers from the 1950’s with no seat belts and leather hats on.

  32. Poor Maria, glad the news wasn’t worse but horrified she has suffered such a terrible injury….

  33. She still has hope fortunately though.
    Lord Drayson races in ALMS and is blind in 1 eye.
    Here’s hoping for the continuation of her racing career.

  34. Well please somebody explain me how is that fact that F1 helmets are so resistant that you can park a tank on it or fire a bullet against it. But then a spring cracks Massa’s visor and now Maria loses an eye. Sad news and probably a must for a revision of safety issues in any public or private F1 event.

    1. Form reports I’ve read elsewhere she had her visor up which can’t have helped matters.

    2. To an extent it depends on how the force is applied.

      Force is either dissipated by deflection (e.g. something such as a bullet hitting the helmet and pinging away) or by deformation (e.g. the crumple zone on a road car or an F1 car disintegrating on impact).

      From what is being reported in the instance of Maria De Villota, the force was being applied in a direction which did not allow for deflection as the loading ramp was suggested to be level with the helmet and as the helmet has relatively little deformation ability (and potentially much, much worse if the visor was open!), there was potentially the situation of a moving F1 car at 30/40mph being resisted by De Villota’s helmet/head and potentially neck.

      In the case of a tank sitting on it, the force and therefore resultant pressure is not as likely to be a point load and is therefore less likely to puncture a helmet.

      In the case of the bullet there is the probability that it would be deflected.

    3. As @adrian-j wrote, de Villota actually had her visor open, as she was parking the car. And Massa’s accident gave the impulse to put the strips on top of the visors to help close this opening, that previously showed itself to be a weakpoint

      1. Is the first time that I read that her visor was open…that sounds even worst that what I ave imaging the accident to be

  35. That’s horrible news. I was concerned when I first read the news, but I wasn’t prepared for anything like this. I really hope she recovers from this, and of course my thoughts go out to her and her family.

  36. Horrible news but I wish her the very best in recovery, Drayson and Zanardi are just two examples of what can be achieved. Thoughts with both her and her family.

  37. Awful news, what a terrible crash. I hope she gets better soon and still gets a chance to race, if not in F1 then maybe in some other series, like GT cars or Le Mans. So sad :(

  38. It is truly sad to hear this news. As Keith said, I too was expecting the worse news. This would be devastating for her. Can’t imagine to be in her place.

    Guys, let’s not forget that she is ‘critical but stable’. Worse might be in store and I just don’t want to hear that.

  39. What an awful situation. I wish her well and will remain hopeful that a return to motor racing in some form is possible.

  40. It is really touching to read all the comments and messages about her recovery and returning back to sports. Whilst there is no doubt that FIA really has to look at implementing safety standards to protect drivers head and bringing up tough stewarding policies, it is very much up to the drivers to ensure safety and respect other drivers lives before using the car as a weapon on the track.

    We admire our drivers; we love the cars and F1 is our passion. Enough lessons learned. We don’t really want to see any driver losing their career. It seems Maria was so looking forward to this day.. it is cruel

  41. Horrified by this news. I hope it doesn’t get any worse for her and that she can come back to racing in some capacity.

    It’s really time to introduce canopies. It makes me angry that the most vulnerable part of a driver is the least protected in a modern open wheel car. We’ve had the Surtees, Massa and Wheldon accidents in recent times, and historically Senna, Koinigg, Pryce, Campos and others. The list goes on. People die or become gravely injured when they get hit in the head – why has the sport done so little about it? Even at Indianapolis this year there were a few close calls with debris or tires getting close to a driver’s head – there could easily have been some serious injuries or fatalities. For those fans concerned about a full canopy, they could make a half-canopy at the front (like a very tall windscreen), still enabling the fans to watch the driver, and the driver can get out quickly in case of an accident.

    1. Weldon’s accident was more a result of the ‘problem’ with IndyCars’ ovals.

      The rest are simply (& unfortunately) victims of circumstance. Both Senna & Pryce’s injuries were the result of influences largely out of their control.

      1. Yes, I agree that the accidents you mentioned were caused by other factors. But I think it is much easier to regulate the area in front of the driver’s head than the many scenarios that can cause a dangerous object to fly into a driver. I think you can control what goes into a cockpit or not.

        Sure, you can try to fix pack racing, marshals running across the track, bad steering columns and the hundreds of other circumstances that would all result in an object flying towards the cockpit. But you can’t predict all of these circumstances. You can, however, predict that if a driver is exposed, eventually you will have this kind of accident. Even Emerson Fittipaldi said after the Senna accident that the sport should consider using canopies, so it’s not like all these subsequent deaths and injuries have been unforeseen.

  42. This really made my heart break. So terrible that that happened!
    I dearly hope she can recover to an extent where she can enjoy life.

  43. :( horrible news. I guess testing safety is a bit more minimal to race safety. hope she gets better soon!

  44. Very sad. I hope she will recover with no more consequences, and after that she will have the courage to keep on. What’s the saying, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

  45. After I read about Maria’s accident yesterday, I just couldn’t keep my mind off it all day long, hopeful that she would be fine. Finding out that she lost her right eye made me feel so horrible, and it gets worse whenever I remember how the accident was. I’m quite convinced that this crash could’ve been avoided, although I don’t think it there is or there are someone to blame.
    All we can do now is to keep praying for her recovery.

  46. That’s it. The silliness must stop, who cares if cars look good or not. F1 and all open wheel formulas must implement whatever safety measures necessary, esthetic or otherwise, to protect pilots heads. Times have changed. Nostalgia and preconceptions of racing car esthetics must be secondary to driver safety. The new paradigm is safety and we all should learn to find the beauty in that.

    Swift recovery Maria. My thoughts are with you. 

    1. I don`t think is a question of esthetic, is a question about the pilot being in risk of being traped inside if an accident happen

      1. LMP 1 cars the last few years have shown that even after massive accidents Allan McNish, Mike Rockenfeller, and Anthony Davidson. The driver is still able to get out even after the car is completly destroyed so I’m sure the F1 designers would be able to come up with a solution.

        1. Open wheel ok, open cockpit just to be able to see a helmet? It’s time to reconsider. LMP1 cars are safe and beautiful, those Audi ultras sure look the part. BTW Ask webber if he rather be on a LMP or a F1 if high speed Tarmac is coming down on his head…

  47. This is such terrible news and I fear talk of her career and that she is now “ok” is premature.
    “Critical but stable” does not sound good. Just wishing her and her family strength at this agonising time.

  48. Great shame this, and just shows that head protection is still not good enough. Get well soon Maria!!

  49. Terrible. What a high price people sometimes have to pay for following their dreams.

  50. Rarely have I read the title of an article and genuinely gasped in terror.

    This is a terrible thing to happen to a driver. Its a career ruining incident and one which, by the sounds of it, was entirely avoidable. I don’t know what else to say except I hope she gets better – though even the most sincere of our thoughts will be little comfort for her sadly.

  51. I can’t believe this had to happen in her very first test with the marussia f1 team, I don’t know how to feel about this, a lot of sadness and anger at once. Maria De Villota was a qualified professional driver and she worked hard to get a seat in a formula 1 car as a test driver, and it makes me angry that the sport can take away all the hopes and hard work in a very harsh way. On top of that it had to target her very beautiful face, this is what makes me sad.

  52. If I be honest, I still fear the worst looking at the extent of the damage.

    20-30 mph is no slow speed to bang your head and even with the helmet on she has had serious head injuries which is not good news.

    I really don’t wont to wake up in morning and read about the worst.

    On the other hand though, this was the true test of a crash helmet.

  53. VERY VERY sour news in the morning. here’s to her speedy recovery

  54. Such a massive shame for her, it’s really awful news :( An eye is such a personal thing, if that makes sense. I hope she can carry on in some motorsport capacity and that she has a speedy recover.

  55. After seeing photos from the accident I was actually expecting such statements. Sad but she was very lucky to survive it. The helmet just saved her life to take such an impact with so sharp surface is really a testament for its design.

  56. All the best for a quick recovery. It could have been worse, but still, dreadful news. :(

  57. Terrible Terrible news.

  58. This is very sad to hear :/

  59. Keith – do drivers and pitcrew get compensation from their team if they are injured at work? Something like workcover? Or do they need to get their own insurance?
    Also do test drivers get the latest spec crash helmets?
    This is such sad news…..

  60. I heard about the incident after it had been confirmed that Maria was conscious. Maybe a bit premature, but I thought she would be okay. Reading this just leaves me speechless. I know she is still alive and I wish her and her family the very best, but as this is probably the end of her racing career, it feels like she is dead. Being born in 1993, I’m too young to remember a fatal accident in F1. The only fatal accident I’ve ever witnessed was during last years Giro d’Italia when Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt literally fell to his death. I don’t really know what to say about this, so if I am talking BS, please forgive me. Just the very best for her and her family.

  61. Desperately sad what’s happened. I suppose we can be thankful the injuries aren’t more serious, but it’s still awful.

  62. Sad to hear.
    But after hearing what happened and seeing the picture of the impact,
    she is very very lucky to be alive. They helmet really took a big impact.
    And if you look at the picture of the car stuck under the truck and see where the loading platform is… yikes.
    Hope she recovers well!

  63. f1tooslownowadays
    5th July 2012, 2:03

    Shocking news, yesterday I expected her to make a full recovery…
    My thoughts are with her family and I hope she recovers enough to have a happy life.

    I was under the belief that f1 cars are far too slow compared to what they should be, I still believe this to an extent as f1 cars are safe enough in normal circumstances. They should NEVER crash into a truck and it’s absolutely disgusting this incident happened..

    I’m sure that a comprehensive inquiry is done and lessons learned. I hope appropriate safety measures will be applied if necessary and f1 can continue to get safer and quicker at the same time.

  64. Ben (@dirtyscarab)
    5th July 2012, 3:39

    Awful news.

    After reading all of the previous comments, I’m slowly beginning to think closed cockpits are the answer.

    As someone who’s followed the sport for 25 years I’m well aware of just how much F1 has changed aesthetically due to safety regulations. We’ve had cockpit height raised, nose heights raised, wheel tethers, roll hoops, rear + side impact strengthening. All of which has changed the appearance of an F1 car. It surely can’t be that hard to implement a closed cockpit that’s safe to remove in the event of a crash, flip or fire. I think it needs to be done.

    All those people saying that Senna lived in the Golden Age where men were men etc etc are deluding themselves. Senna had the equipment to at hand and used it. Yes it was dangerous but the drivers back then didn’t know any better and didn’t have a choice.

    Do we want another death or maiming just to keep the sport as it’s always been? Of course not because F1 constantly evolves, and so should it’s safely, regardless of how the cars look.

  65. sad sad news :(

  66. Horrible news. Her life and the rest of her family have been changed for the worse forever. Will she be able to smile again as she did in her often-posted file photo?

    Still waiting to understand how this could happen, though.

  67. sad news :(
    hope she recovers soon and i wish her and her family my best wishes .

  68. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    5th July 2012, 8:52

    This is devastating news. D:

    I feel so terrible about what has happened to her :(
    And i sincerely hope that she can pursue career in Formula 1, even if it means not being a driver.

    I also hope that the FIA dont use this as motivation to implement driver cockpits for subsequent seasons because this was just a terrible freak accident.

    Get well Maria. :(

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      5th July 2012, 8:52

      *Driver cockpit covers**

  69. Shocking news, this is terrible for her. I hope she still makes a full recovery, and can find a vocation after this that she can still love.

    I think that a thorough investigation should be carried out into how this could have possibly happened, an inexperienced driver taking her first test of an F1 car on a runway with a makeshift pit area. This would never have happened on a track, with dedicated safety facilities and pit areas. Before knee jerk reactions are made I think a look at in season testing and how young and inexperienced drivers gain experience must be looked into.

    That is not to say that car safety should not be investigated as well, whilst I don’t see the forward facing rollbar “pioneered” a few weeks back as the way forward, it is obvious that in todays health and safety age the pinnicle of motersport should not be having accidents like this. Maybe a canopy to the cars is the answer; the red bull prototype car (y’know, that one off Gran Turismo) looks like a blueprint for future F1 cars in my opinion

  70. This is sad…

  71. Very sad. After hearing of the accident I feared the worst, and the way the news came out it was clear it was very serious. So I am glad that she’s alive, and out of danger. But it is terrible to suffer such an accident. And at the start of your first test for the team, then lose an eye. I wish her strength and luck.

  72. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
    5th July 2012, 11:07

    I can hardly figure out how could that happend. Tests arent a real racing, so you dont have to go faster and faster (read take more and more risks).

  73. I hope she recovers quickly. God bless her !

  74. Sergey Martyn
    5th July 2012, 14:52

    Oh no, this is so awful….
    Just shake my head in disbelief…
    I have a friend who lost his eye in accident and he can’t drive his Honda Civic properly not to mention the racing car.
    Anyway, my best wishes to Maria!

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