F1 Test driver death

Former Formula One test driver Maria de Villota has died at the age of 33.

Former F1 test driver found dead

by Luke Farrington

The Formula One test driver María de Villota, who lost the sight in one eye after a crash in Cambridgeshire, has been found dead in a hotel room. Police are calling it a "natural death".

Last year, the Spanish driver crashed at Duxford Aerodrome, while test driving for the Marussia F-1 team.

The 33-year old's body was today discovered in Spain, where she was promoting her autobiography.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Luke Farrington

Blundell: 'Maria would have been next female F1 driver'

María de Villota's manager, Mark Blundell, believes that the Spaniard would have been "the next female Formula One driver".

De Villota was found dead in a hotel room in Seville earlier this morning.

The 33-year-old's racing career was cut tragically short when she lost an eye in an accident at Cambridgeshire's Duxford Aerodrome last year.

However, Blundell believes that De Villota had the talent to become the first female driver to enter the Formula One World Championship since Giovanna Amati back in 1992.

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Formula One mourns de Villota death

Formula One teams and circuits have been paying tribute to former Formula One test driver María de Villota after the 33-year-old was found dead in a hotel room in the Spanish city of Seville.

Norfolk-based Lotus Cars and Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire were among those offering their condolences.

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We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of María de Villota. Our sincere condolences to her family. http://t.co/3lH7IVJPrb

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We are so very sad to hear about the passing of Maria de Villota this morning, our thoughts are with her family and friends

IWM Duxford pays tribute to Spanish driver

IWM Duxford have released a statement after learning of the death of former Formula One test driver María de Villota.

The Spaniard was found dead in a hotel room in Seville this morning.

De Villota was previously involved in a freak accident at Duxford Aerodrome in Cambridgeshire that resulted in her losing her right eye.

"Management and staff at IWM Duxford are truly saddened to hear about the death of María de Villota.

Our sincere condolences go to her family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."

– IWM Duxford

Duxford crash Formula One test driver found dead

Maria De Villota Credit: James Moy Photography/Press Association Images

Former Formula One test driver Maria de Villota has died at the age of 33.

On July 3 last year, whilst testing for Marussia, De Villota was involved in a freak accident at Duxford Aerodrome in Cambridgeshire that resulted in her losing her right eye.

Despite spending a month in hospital, De Villota rebuilt her life and became part of the FIA's Women In Motorsport commission.

Spaniard De Villota was the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio, and competed in F3, GTs, touring cars and the Superleague Formula before joining up with Marussia.

It is understood De Villota was on a tour promoting her autobiography at the time of her death, with reports in Spain stating she was found in a hotel room in Seville.

A statement on De Villota's Facebook page, signed by her family, read: "Dear friends: Maria has left us.

"She had to go to heaven like all angels. We are thankful to God for the extra year and a half that he left her with us."