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Formula 1 Test Driver Maria de Villota Conscious After Crash

July 03, 2012

Formula One test driver Maria de Villota is conscious after sustaining what ambulance staff called “life-threatening” injuries in a collision with a team truck.

De Villota, 32, was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England, after the accident at 9.15 a.m. local time today.

“She has been receiving the best medical attention possible at the hospital,” her Marussia team said in a statement. “Maria is conscious and medical assessments are ongoing.”

The driver was testing the team’s MR-01 racing car for the first time at Duxford Airfield near Cambridge. The car slowed after a test run and then accelerated into the truck, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported.

De Villota, a Spaniard, was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to the hospital, East of England Ambulance Service spokesman Gary Sanderson said in an earlier statement, describing the injuries as “life threatening.”

She completed 300 kilometers (186 miles) of testing for the Lotus Renault team last year and was hired by Marussia in March. A woman driver hasn’t competed in the most-watched motor sport since 1992.

The daughter of a racing driver, De Villota has competed in series including the World Touring Car Championship since 2001, according to her website. In 2004, she drove a Ferrari Modena sports car at the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Russian sports carmaker Marussia Motors acquired a stake in the Banbury, England-based team, formerly known as Virgin Racing, from Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm LDC in November 2010. LDC said at the time it was retaining an undisclosed stake.

Marussia hasn’t scored a point after eight of 20 Formula One races this season. The next event is the July 8 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, England.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at

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