Just weeks ago, Spanish F1 driver Maria de Villota was in a horrific crash during testing of her new Marussia MR-01 racecar. In fact, it was her first test drive ever and the injuries were apparently very serious. The only injury we were made aware of initially was the fact that she lost an eye.
Fortunately, the injuries were not so severe to put her life in direct risk, as it was just announced that she was released from the hospital. There was some speculation that Maria would require brain surgery, but following some testing, it was found that there wasn’t any damage that would require this risky surgery.
Though she will not spend any more time in the hospital, physicians will continue to monitor her at home to assure that her recovery stays on schedule. She will be undergoing surgery to repair damage done to her face during the accident, so we wish her the best in the rest of her recovery and her future plastic surgery.
Marussia has also officially chalked the crash up as a combination of several driver errors. The first error was that she was unable to find the clutch lever, which was in an unexpected position because the wheel was not centered. Also, when she came into the pits, de Villota forgot to press the neutral button to keep the car out of gear. These are all freak lapses that most F1 drivers remember almost instinctively, but while testing a new car, these steps can sometimes be forgotten.
On an aside, Maria will likely have to take significant time off, as the FIA does not issue international licenses for five years following the loss of an eye. This give the brain time to adjust using just a single eye.
Our best wishes go out to Maria de Villota and we hope for a speedy recovery.