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Marussia says car not cause of de Villota accident

Marussia concludes investigation into Maria de Villota's freak accident at Duxford Airfield

The Marussia F1 team has said that its car was not responsible for Maria de Villota's accident at Duxford Airfield.

The Spaniard suffered serious head and facial injuries – including losing her right eye – after colliding with the tail-lift of one of the teams trucks while conducting straight-line testing. Following the incident she was in a critical condition for several days, although thankfully her recovery is now said to be going well [see separate story - HERE].

Marussia has now concluded out its 'own detailed investigation' into the accident, supplemented by that of an external firm, and has said the MR01 was not a factor. No other details were released.

“The accident occurred on 3 July during a straight-line test, at which Maria was making her testing debut for the team and driving an F1 car for the fourth time in her career,” read a statement.

“The Marussia F1 Team conducted an initial analysis immediately after the crash. This aimed to identify the causes and contributory factors behind the accident and also served to determine if there were any car-related implications for the impending British Grand Prix. Having carefully examined all the data and supplementary information available at that time, the team were satisfied that there were no such car-related issues and cleared its chassis for race weekend participation.

“Following its initial investigation, the team proceeded to carry out further detailed analysis of the accident.

“An external forensic investigation was commissioned and carried out at Duxford Airfield (a FIA-approved and much used testing venue, compliant with the recommendations for a test of this nature) and with the team at the Marussia Technical Centre in Banbury. This external analysis has been carried out autonomously of the team's own internal investigation.

“As would be normal procedure, the Team's findings have been shared with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the independent UK regulator which acts in the public interest in respect of work-related accidents.”

John Booth, Marussia team boss, added: “We are satisfied that the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident. We have shared and discussed our findings with the HSE for their consideration as part of their ongoing investigation. This has been a necessarily thorough process in order to understand the cause of the accident.

“We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria's wellbeing.

“In that regard, we continue to support Maria and the De Villota family in any way we can,” he concluded.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
John Booth (GBR) Marussia F1 Team Team Principal   03.05.2012. Formula 1 World Championship, Testing, Mugello, Italy
Maria de Villota (ESP) Marussia F1 Team
Maria de Villota (ESP) Marussia F1 Team

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Oli - Unregistered

July 16, 2012 1:06 PM

If the car wasn't to blame for the acceleration then the driver was. Sounds like she has simply made a mistake with the control systems, entirely understandable given the complexities of an F1 car. But the overriding factor of the severity of the crash is that the loading ramp of a support truck was left in a dangerous position. That is the fault of the team, without question. Had the team ensured the vehicle was not in a position to be hit or, at the very least, the loading ramp with in the upright position, then this would have been nothing more than an embarrassing little shunt for Maria. Instead it has left her disabled. Oli


July 16, 2012 1:47 PM
Last Edited 560 days ago

@ Oli. The ramp was out of her planned, high speed path. Had it been up, the next thing in her unintended path were more stationary objects and people. Blaming the crew for the ramp being down as the cause of her injurys is speculation, and inconsiderate. Best to wait and hear her explanation

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