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Spanish official attacks Marussia

A leading Spanish official hits out at Marussia over Maria de Villota's testing accident
A leading Spanish motorsport official has hit out at the Marussia team in the aftermath of the accident that saw Maria de Villota lose her right eye.

De Villota was taking part in her first straight-line test with the team when she collided with the tail-lift of a team transporter as she returned to a makeshift pit area, suffering severe head and facial injuries in the process.

Having conducted an investigation into the accident on 3 July, Marussia said it was satisfied that there were no car-related issues, with the matter still being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

However, speaking before the news broke that de Villota has been released from hospital, Carlos Gracia – a vice president of the FIA – criticised the team for its statement revealing that the car hadn't been at fault for the accident, suggesting that the team was trying to move responsibility for what happened onto de Villota herself.

"I think it [the statement] was not necessary when the [external] investigation is ongoing," he told AS. "I see it that they want to shift the responsibility to Maria, but we need to wait if she can recover her memory.

"In any case, even if it was a driving mistake, there was a failure of logistics, when we speak about a truck ramp that acted like a knife. It's the same as a garage door raised to the height of a driver's head. That's a team failure, so there is a responsibility that certainly is not Maria's."

Gracia also said he had raised the issue with FIA president Jean Todt and claimed that the accident wouldn't have happened if de Villota hadn't been testing with a 'modest team'.

"I have asked Jean Todt to regulate and ensure minimum safety measures and to consider it for the next World Council,” he said. "What is clear is that a top team, a Ferrari or McLaren, would have worked more seriously. These modest teams should improve their basic safety."



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Sean - Unregistered

July 21, 2012 12:33 PM

I find it very hard to disagree! Reading the report when it was released I was thinking that it was very unusual, like, if there are only two components that could have failed, the car, or the driver .... ruling one out with absolute certainty means that it can only then be the other, in this case, the driver! Maria was still in hospital, reports were serious, and they go public with "it's not our fault, has to have been the driver" ... sick! ... Let's just say it was driver error ... the fact that a tail lift was left in the exact position it was, that's a big enough error! ... in the most ridiculous position ... I don't really care if it was driver error, we are all, after all only human ... we all are mistakes, but it wasn't as big a mistake as leaving a tail lift at that height, END OF! Sod Marussia ...



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