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De Villota suffers 'life threatening injuries' in testing crash

ESPN Staff
July 3, 2012 « Maldonado eyes Barcelona repeat | Mallya wants Force India to 'keep up the momentum' »
Maria de Villota was taking part in her first aero test for Marussia this morning © Marussia
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Maria de Villota has suffered "life threatening injuries" following a crash testing for Marussia at the Duxford Aerodrome near Cambridge.

De Villota hit a Marussia support truck when returning to the pits following her first installation lap in the car. Following confirmation from the team that she was taken to hospital, an East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said: "A woman has sustained life threatening injuries and following treatment at the scene by paramedics, she has been taken to Addenbrookes Hospital for further care."

A few hours after the incident, emergency medical charity MAGPAS - which escorted de Villota to hospital - said that she had "suffered facial and head injuries" and was "in a stable condition" on arrival at Addenbrookes.

Marussia provided an update at 14:00 GMT saying that de Villota was conscious at the hospital.

"Further to the accident involving the Marussia F1 Team's Test Driver Maria De Villota this morning, the team can confirm that Maria was transferred by ambulance from Duxford Airfield, where the accident happened, to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

"Since Maria's arrival at the hospital at approximately 10.45hrs this morning, she has been receiving the best medical attention possible at the hospital, which is the region's major trauma centre. Maria is conscious and medical assessments are ongoing. The team will await the outcome of these assessments before providing further comment.

"The team's first priority at this time is Maria and her family."

A statement from the Cambridgeshire Police confirmed that de Villota had been seriously injured.

"We were called by the ambulance service at 0925am with reports that a racing car had been in collision with a lorry at low speed at Duxford Airfield. We have since discovered that the driver has a serious injury. We have notified the health and safety executive because the incident was on private land."

De Villota was taking part in her first test for Marussia as the team attempted to analyse its new upgrade package ahead of the British Grand Prix this weekend. The incident occurred when the car was returning to the pit area following the installation lap.