October 11 2013

Maria de Villota

RMA Track Days have just heard the very sad news of the passing of Maria de Villota in Seville, Spain.

De Villota, 33, famously lost an eye in a freak accident at Duxford Aerodrome, Cambridgeshire, in July last year.

She was the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio De Villota, and competed in F3, GTs, touring cars and the Superleague Formula before joining up with the Marussia team last year. It was while testing for Marussia last year that De Villota lost 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.

It is thought she was promoting her autobiography at the time of her death, with local media reports stating that 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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