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De Villota free to drive again

28 February 2013

Former Marussia F1 test driver Maria de Villota has been given permission to resume driving.

De Villota suffered serious injuries in a testing accident last year at Duxford Airfield, which resulted in the loss of her right eye as well as losing her sense of taste and smell. However she continues to make a good recovery and has now got the okay to get back behind the wheel.

“Last week they gave me permission to return to driving,” she told BBC Sport. “The distances I can already calculate quite well and it feels like nothing ever happened."

“Very busy days take their toll, but I am calm because I know everything is going well,” added the 33-year-old. “To start with it was difficult just to do day-to-day things. Catching keys in flight or getting a glass of water was a problem, but now things are much better.”

Meanwhile, despite her injuries, she remains as enthusiastic as ever about F1 and motorsport in general.

“At the end of the day, my natural habitat is in a car and I am happiest in that environment. I missed it,” she continued.

“When your life is saved, no-one owes you anything. I don't hold any rancour towards the sport. The only thing I want is for the safety in races and tests to be improved. I will collaborate with them on what is currently lacking.

“Moreover, I feel very grateful to all the teams and drivers who have supported me after the accident.”


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