Maria de Villota's condition continues to improve following a second round of surgery at the end of last week, and reports claim that the Spaniard has recovered sufficiently to be moved from the intensive care department at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

de Villota received serious head and facial injuries after colliding with a stationary team vehicle during straight-line testing at Duxford Airfield in the build-up to the British Grand Prix. An official explanation for the accident has yet to be received, with early speculation pointing to the MR-01's anti-stall system, but the driver remained in a critical condition for several days, before being upgraded to 'serious but stable'. Now, according to a selection of reports, she is no longer in the controlled coma that kept her sedated in the days after the crash.

"Her level of sedation has been reduced markedly," Marussia boss John Booth told the Spanish broadcaster Antena3, adding that the 32-year old former Superleague Formula star had been able to speak with members of her family..

Related Articles

It was de Villota's sister, Isabel, however, who told the Spanish media that Maria had been discharged by ICU owing to the 'good progress' she had made, before warning that 'the coming days will be crucial for her recovery'.

Meanwhile, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claimed that, while in itself a serious blow, losing the sight in her right eye appears to be the extent of de Villota's major injury and, given continued recovery, she 'could return to her native Spain late this week'.

Drivers at the British Grand Prix added copies of the star logo adorning de Villota's crash helmet to their own designs as a tribute to their comrade.