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Team say car not to blame for De Villota accident
July 16, 2012 / 11:54 AM / in 5 years

Team say car not to blame for De Villota accident

REUTERS - An internal investigation of the crash that seriously injured Spanish test driver Maria De Villota at Duxford airfield in eastern England has found the car was not to blame, Marussia Formula One team principal John Booth said on Monday.

Marussia Formula One test driver Maria de Villota of Spain poses prior to the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 15, 2012. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

De Villota, who is now out of sedation and talking to her family, had just completed a straight-line aerodynamic test and was returning to mechanics when her car accelerated abruptly and slammed into a team truck at helmet level on July 3.

As a result of the accident the 32-year-old lost her right eye after undergoing emergency surgery.

A two-week investigation followed, including an external forensic investigation, and the findings satisfied Marussia team officials that a fault with the car was not the cause of the accident.

Details of the findings have now been passed on to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive who act on behalf of the pubic for work-related accidents.

“We are satisfied that the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident,” Marussia Team Principal John Booth said in a statement on the team’s official website (www.marussiaf1team.com).

”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.”

De Villota, whose father Emilio previously raced Formula One cars, was making her testing debut for the team.

Reporting by Mark Pangallo; Editing by John Mehaffey

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