Surgeons removed Maria de Villota’s right eye as they fought for the life of the Marussia F1 female test driver, who received serious head and facial injuries in a crash Tuesday.
“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,” John Booth, Marussia F1’s team principal, said in statement.
“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,” he added.
De Villota crashed into the stationary truck at the end of a test run at Duxford Airfield, not far from the English city of Cambridge.
The crash occurred at a rather low speed, but the Spanish driver suffered a heavy blow on the helmet, and was motionless in the car for 20 minutes while receiving first aid.
“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,” the statement stressed. “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.”
Marussia are currently working on a “very comprehensive analysis” of the reasons leading to the crash, which left the racing world in shock.
De Villota is a daughter of former Formula 1 driver Emilio de Villota. During her racing career, the 32-year-old took part in Spanish F3 races, the Daytona 24 Hours, the Superleague Formula Championship and several other racing series.
The driver signed with the Russian Marussia team this March, becoming the first woman in Formula 1.
A couple of months later she was joined by Susie Wolff, who took the position of a tester at Williams