Formula One test driver who lost eye in Duxford crash found dead

Maria De Villota has been found dead in a Spanish hotel room.

Maria De Villota has been found dead in a Spanish hotel room. - Credit: Archant

A former Formula One test driver who lost her right eye in a horrific crash at Duxford Airfield has been found dead in a hotel room, her family have confirmed.

Reports suggest emergency services were called to the Seville hotel room of Maria de Villota at 7am this morning (Friday) but were unable to revive her.

A police spokeswoman has since said: “We are assuming it was a natural death, but we cannot confirm anything.” Forensic scientists and officers from the homicide unit would examine the scene at the Seville hotel, she added.

A statement on the 33-year-old’s Facebook page, signed by her family, read: “Dear friends: Maria is gone. She had to go to heaven with all the angels. Give thanks to God for the year and a half more that we had left together. Signed. Family Villota.”

Last July de Villota was performing straight-line testing for Marussia on Duxford’s airstrip when her car careered into an articulated trailer.

She was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge with life-threatening injuries but, despite the loss of her right eye, later made a full recovery from her other injuries, including skull damage.

It is thought de Villota was promoting her autobiography Life is a Gift at the time of her death.

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