Villota joins Marussia

Spaniard will be only female on F1 roster the season

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 08/03/12 1:29pm

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Marussia have named Maria de Villota as their new test driver

Marussia have named Maria de Villota as their new test driver

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Maria de Villota has joined the Marussia F1 team as their official test driver, making her the only woman on the Formula One roster this season.

The 32-year-old is the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, and has previous experience of an F1 cockpit having tested for the Renault team at Paul Ricard last year, completing 300km in their 2009 car.

The Spaniard has previous single-seater experience having competed in Spanish F3, Euroseries 3000 and Superleague Formula.

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"I am very happy to be joining the Marussia F1 Team test driver programme," Villota told the team's official website.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with a Formula One team and gain important experience to help me progress my career, including the chance to drive the new car later in the year at the Abu Dhabi test.

"I will be joining the team trackside so I'm looking forward to working alongside them at the first race next weekend and this can only help my future ambition to step up to Formula One racing."

Team principal John Booth added: ""We are pleased to welcome Maria to our test driver programme, which will enable her to be integrated into a Formula One team environment and gain a vast amount of experience that will be useful to her career progression.

"We will also provide Maria with the opportunity to sample F1 machinery later in the year, further adding to her racing credentials."

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