By Ewan Foskett
Monday, July 16, 2012
MECHANICAL failure has been ruled out as the cause of a Formula 1 crash which cost a test driver her right eye.
Maria De Villota was left with serious head and facial as a result of the crash at the Imperial War Museum Duxford’s airstrip two weeks ago.
The 32-year-old Spaniard was making her test debut for the Marussia F1 team and crashed into a lorry after completing her first straight line run.
Following the accident an initial test was carried out to ensure the car was race safe and an external forensic investigation was commissioned and carried out at the museum.
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, Team Principal of the Marussia F1 Team, said: “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.”
The driver has endured a series of lengthy operations at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge but was last week revealed to be awake and speaking.
She had been travelling at speeds of up to 200mph before the accident but is thought to have crashed at around 20-30mph when she was coming into a make shift pit area.
Shortly after the collision ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson described the driver’s injuries as “life threatening”.