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."

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F1 Test driver death

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