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Maria de Villota: 1980-2013 - Tributes

Monisha Kaltenborn: "If anybody represented strength and optimism, it was Maria. Her sudden death is a big loss to the motorsport world as she was an important ambassador for relaying important messages to the youth, and particularly girls that aspire to a career in motorsport. Maria was an example of someone who never gave up, she always had a smile on her face and we will dearly miss her."
Tributes to one-time Marussia test driver Maria de Villota, who was found dead in a hotel room in Seville on Friday.


Maria de Villota's family (via Facebook)

"Maria is gone. She had to go to heaven and all the angels. We thank God for the year-and-a-half more that he left us."

Jean Todt, FIA President

“Today is a tragic day for motor sport. My deepest condolences go to the de Villota family. Maria was a fantastic driver, a leading light for women in motor sport and a tireless campaigner for road safety. Above all she was a friend I deeply admired. Through her courage, strength and determination she transformed her personal misfortune on the track into a powerful message for road safety that was heard at race tracks and beyond around the world. Maria was a beloved member of the FIA family. Our thoughts go to her family today.”

FIA statement

“The FIA family today comes together to express its sincere condolences to the family of María de Villota, who passed away this morning in Spain. Maria, a former WTCC and Formula One test driver, a leading member of the Women in Motor Sport Commission, an FIA Action for Road Safety Ambassador, and a member of the FIA Drivers' Commission, will be greatly missed by the FIA community and all who knew her.”



Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber team principal:

“We are shocked to hear the news of Maria de Villota's death and would like to offer our sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends for this tragic loss. If anybody represented strength and optimism, it was Maria. Her sudden death is a big loss to the motorsport world as she was an important ambassador for relaying important messages to the youth, and particularly girls that aspire to a career in motorsport. Maria was an example of someone who never gave up, she always had a smile on her face and we will dearly miss her.”

Susie Wolff (as told to the Press Association)

“Out of the paddock and out of the motorsport bubble, she was an incredible character, she was a fighter. She had such a spirit for life. What she came through was a testament to her strength of character and her positive outlook on life. She was just an incredible lady, no matter what she did on the race track. She was just an incredible character.”

“We both agreed her accident should never have happened. It was a stupid, freak accident. It had no relation to which gender of driver was in the car that day and she very much said to me after it 'it's up to you to go out there and show them that it (a woman driver in F1) is possible'. I can remember her sending me the message before the test [at Silverstone this year]. She said 'I can imagine you are starting to get apprehensive, but don't think twice about it. You can do it. Just do what you do'. She knew from the testing she had done, and the time she had in the car, that it was possible. She knew that women could compete at that level and that's why, after her accident and her not being able to do that any more, she just wanted someone to know it was possible.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal and FOTA chairman

“The whole paddock is very shocked by the news that Maria is no longer with us. She was an inspiration not just to women in this sport, but also to all those who suffered life-threatening injuries. Her story, determination and subsequent inspiration flowed from F1 through sport as a whole, and to see the images of her in Barcelona on the grid earlier this year, surrounded by a throng of jubilant children, told a great story. Maria participated in the Manhattan Fans' Forum on behalf of her team, Marussia F1, last year, and made a lasting impression on the fans who attended. She will be sadly missed, and we wish to pass on our sincere condolences to her family.”

Fernando Alonso

“It's hard to talk about Maria de Villota right now, as I had only just taken my helmet off, when I was told about her death and at the moment, I still can't believe it and need a while to stop and think about it. Of course, it's very sad news for the world of motorsport as Maria was loved by everyone. Now, all we can do is pray for her and for her family.”

Jenson Button



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Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.05.2013- Maria de Villota (ESP) and Daniel Juncadella (ESP) Test Driver, Mercedes AMG F1 W04
10.05.2013- Maria De Villota (ESP)
10.05.2013- Maria De Villota (ESP)
10.05.2013- Maria De Villota (ESP)
Maria de Villota (ESP) Marussia F1 Team
Maria de Villota (ESP) Marussia F1 Team
Maria De Villota (ESP), test driver, Marussia F1 Team
Maria De Villota (ESP), test driver, Marussia F1 Team
Maria de Villota (ESP) Marussia F1 Team
Maria de Villota (ESP) Marussia F1 Team
Maria de Villota (ESP) Marussia F1 Team

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roadburner

October 12, 2013 10:26 PM

How very very sad. I know it's not PC to say this, and quite frankly, I don't give a damn, but a woman's place is in the home, not behind the wheel of a racing car. Her horrendous injuries caused her untimely demise, poor girl. She was a victim of feminism. RIP Maria.



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