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De Villota seriously injured in testing crash

3 July 2012

This story will be updated as it develops

Marussia test driver Maria de Villota has been seriously injured in an accident while testing in Cambridgeshire.

The Spanish driver was taking part in a straight-line test at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford when she collided with a team truck.

Emergency services were called to the scene, with the 32-year-old being treated by paramedics before being transferred to hospital with injuries that have been described as 'life-threatening' by the East of England Ambulance service.

"A woman has sustained life-threatening injuries and following treatment at the scene by paramedics, she has been taken to Addenbrookes Hospital for further care," spokesman Gary Sanderson said.

The incident, which took place at around 09.15 on Tuesday came during de Villota's first time behind the wheel of the Marussia MR-01 and at the conclusion of her first run in the car.

BBC Cambridgeshire reporter Chris Mann, who was present to watch the test, said de Villota appeared to suddenly accelerate before hitting the loading board which is used to lift the car into the back of the team's truck.

"From where I was standing it looked like the helmet took the brunt of the impact," he said. "Strangely, the car suddenly accelerated into the lorry and the car went careering into the side of the loading board.

"There was a terrible moment when everyone was just very shocked by the impact and the suddenness of what had happened."

Further updates are expected from Marussia as the day goes on, with the team saying it would release a further statement when more is known on de Villota's condition.

“At approximately 09.15 BST this morning, the Marussia F1 Team's Test Driver Maria De Villota had an accident in the team's MR-01 race car at Duxford Airfield where she was testing the car for the first time," the team said in a statement. "The accident happened at the end of her first installation run and involved an impact with the team's support truck.

"Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed a further statement will be issued."



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