De Villota loses right eye

Doctors operate all night on "serious head and facial injuries"

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 04/07/12 5:41pm

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Marussia test driver Maria De Villota has lost her right eye due to injuries sustained in Tuesday's testing accident at Duxford Airfield.

The 32-year-old remains in a critical but stable condition after having lengthy surgery "to address serious head and facial injuries sustained in the accident. The operation began yesterday afternoon and she was in theatre until this morning," the team confirmed in a statement.

Team Principal John Booth praised the professionalism of the emergency services who responded to the incident and has promised a full investigation into the cause of the accident.

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"Maria emerged from theatre at Addenbrooke's Hospital this morning after a lengthy operation to address the serious head and facial injuries she received in the accident at Duxford Airfield yesterday," Booth said.

"We are grateful for the medical attention that Maria has been receiving and her family would like to thank the Neurological and Plastics surgical teams. However it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.

"Maria's care and the wellbeing of her family remain our priority at this time. Her family are at the hospital and we are doing everything possible to support them.

"We ask for everyone's patience and understanding with regard to updates on Maria's condition. We will provide further information when it is appropriate to do so and with consideration for her family.

"In the meantime, we would all like to take this opportunity to praise the emergency services at Duxford Airfield, who were on stand-by yesterday, as is usual procedure for a Formula One test.

"With regard to the accident, we have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment.

"Finally, we have been overwhelmed by messages of support for Maria, her family and the Team and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for those."

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