Maria de Villota, a career cut short

4 Jul

SMaria de Villota is the daughter of Emilio de Villota, a F1 driver who was entered for 15 races.

On the 3rd of July 2012 she was testing for Marussia F1 when the car appeared to accelerate into one of the team’s lorries with eye witnesses reporting that the brunt of the hit went to Maria’s head and the top of the car. Her condition was origionally classed as life threatening, but it has now (4th July 2012) been downgraded to critical but in a stable condition. Sadly during the operation Maria lost her right eye. At the age of 32 Maria’s racing career has been cut short.

Maria started her racing career in the Spanish F3 series (2001-2005) before stepping up to the European Ferrari Challenge (2005-2006). In 2006-2007 Maria moved to the WTCC (world touring car championship) where over the two seasons she would start four races picking up a best finish of 18th. In 2007 Maria competed in two racing categories, the Spanish GT Championship and the ADAC Procar-division 1. Before in 2008 moving on to the Italian Superstars series and the Euroseries 3000 where she competed in her father’s team for one race, picking up 2 points for finishing 7th at Spa-Francorchamps.

In 2009 Maria competed in the Trofeo Abarth European Championship, Formula Palmer Audi and the Superleague Formula (a series where teams were sponsored by football clubs). In the Superleague Formula Maria drove for Athletico Madrid, picking 202 points over two out of the six weekends (of 3 races a weekend) to finish 15th in the championship. In 2010 Maria continued at Athletico Madrid, competing over nine out of the twelve weekends and picking up 265 points to finish 17th. In 2010 Maria also competed in the Spanish GT Championship.

In 2011 Maria continued in the Superleague Formula still with Athletico Madrid, a team now ran by her father. Maria would only compete in one weekend picking up 28 points finishing 15th in the championship.

Also in 2011 Maria got her first taste of an F1 car, she tested for Lotus-Renault at Paul Richard and this led to her being signed as a test driver at Marussia, a role that would give her oppertunities to test F1 cars. Sadly it was at one of these oppertunities that the accident happened, at Duxford Aerodrome.

It is unlikely Maria will ever drive an F1 car again, and our thoughts are with her and her family at this difficult time.

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