De Villota loses right eye after Duxford crash

2012 F1 season

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

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  1. The Dutch Bear (@the-dutch-bear) said on 4th July 2012, 23:46

    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.

  2. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 5th July 2012, 0:01

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

  3. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 5th July 2012, 0:19

    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!

  4. f1tooslownowadays said on 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.

  5. Ben (@dirtyscarab) said on 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.

  6. Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 5th July 2012, 5:22

    sad sad news :(

  7. Dave (@dworsley) said on 5th July 2012, 6:35

    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.

  8. mixwell (@mixwell) said on 5th July 2012, 7:45

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

  9. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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. :(

  10. THOMF1S (@thomf1s) said on 5th July 2012, 9:10

    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

  11. Eggry (@eggry) said on 5th July 2012, 9:16

    This is sad…

  12. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 5th July 2012, 10:43

    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.

  13. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@) said on 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).

  14. Knightmare (@knightmare) said on 5th July 2012, 13:55

    I hope she recovers quickly. God bless her !

  15. Sergey Martyn said on 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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