De Villota 'conscious' after crash

"Medical assessments ongoing" after test accident

Last Updated: 04/07/12 7:27am

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Maria De Villota is conscious and an assessment of her condition is ongoing, a statement released by Marussia said on Tuesday afternoon.

De Villota had earlier been admitted to hospital with what were described as "life-threatening" injuries after an accident during a straightline test at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire.

Having completing an installation run at the airfield, the 32-year-old Spaniard returned to a makeshift pit area where her car collided with a team transporter.

After treatment by trackside paramedics, De Villota was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge where it is understood she has been receiving treatment for head and face injuries.

The latest Marussia team statement read: "The team can confirm 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."

An early theory behind the accident is that the anti-stall mechanism on the car kicked in, propelling De Villota into the truck at around 20-30mph.

It is understood the tailgate had been lowered at the time, and at such a height as to cause a head trauma.

With emergency services already at the scene, De Villota was attended to quickly by fire crews and paramedics.

Although it is believed she was unconscious for around 15 to 20 minutes, it is also understood that De Villota regained consciousness and was talking prior to her transfer to hospital.

A statement from the East of England Ambulance Service, who attended the scene, confirmed receiving an emergency call at 9.17am prior to despatching a crew to Duxford.

Spokesman Gary Sanderson later stated the service had treated a woman who had "sustained life-threatening injuries".

Air ambulance charity Magpas were also on hand to assist, with Dr Darren Reid and volunteer paramedic Dave Mee in attendance.

A statement read: "The Magpas team were called to Duxford Airfield and arrived at 10:20 this morning after a Formula One car collided (at slow speed) with a lorry tail lift.

"The Helimedix assessed the patient, who suffered facial and head injuries, and administered pain relief as they worked alongside an EEAST ambulance crew who were also at the scene."

The test was the first De Villota, whose father Emilio raced in Formula 1, had undertaken for Marussia having been named as a test driver before the start of the season.

She had previously tested a Renault F1 car as well as competing in Spanish F3, the Daytona 24 Hours and the Superleague Formula. However, De Villota does not have the FIA 'Superlicence' required to take part in F1 races.

Marussia had been hoping to use the session - one of a number of straightline tests teams are allowed each season - to evaluate upgrades ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix.

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