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María de Villota hospitalised after F1 testing accident - Marussia driver hurt during debut straight-line test

Published by Mr. C

María ready for her first run
María ready for her first runCredit: Twitpic/Marussia F1 Team

María de Villota, test driver for the Marussia F1 team, has been taken to hospital today after her F1 car collided with a support truck during a straight-line test at Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire. The car had completed an initial shakedown run and was returning to the team's makeshift pits when the accident happened.

María was making her debut in the MR-01 chassis after being signed by the team in March.

Receiving medical treatment

Eyewitness reports describe the crash as a low speed accident, and the car may have met with the partially raised tail lift of a support truck. De Villota was taken by ambulance to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Radio Cambridgeshire's Chris Mann, who was following the test, described the incident first hand.

There were approximately 25 people standing there, but miraculously nobody else was hit. The car took the whole impact. The front of the F1 car was devastated.

- Chris Mann, Radio Cambridgeshire

Sky Sports were also on the scene covering De Villota's debut. Helen Brown, an assistant producer explained what she saw.

We were all asked to leave about 20 minutes after the accident had happened - she was still in the car. Because it was a testing event, there was an ambulance already on site, a fire brigade on site as well. They were surrounding the car as I was leaving and she was receiving medical treatment.

- Helen Brown, Sky Sports

Tricky conditions

Overnight rain had left the runway and surrounding areas slightly damp. Earlier in the morning the team described conditions as "a positively balmy 19 degrees and dryish" and tweeted about María's preparations.

@mariavillota had her final seat-fitting and pedal test at our Banbury HQ and then headed north to the Imperial War Museum, ready to do battle

Marussia_F1Team Marussia_F1Team

The 32 year old Spanish driver had tweeted on Monday, "In Banbury, geeting ready for tomorrow test. Can't wait."

Following the incident the team put out an official statement - "Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed a further statement will be issued."