It is not the time to get into disputes about the rights and wrongs of whether or not Maria de Villota should be in a Formula 1 car; nor the larger question of whether women can drive F1 cars. Nor, for that matter, is it wise to try to speculate as to what happened at Duxford. The answers will exist in the software. At the moment, fans of F1 should really spare a thought for de Villota and her family. She was pursuing her dream and she has suffered a serious injury as a result of that. As human beings we should salute the fact that she tried and we should be sad that she has been hurt.
As you will have read elsewhere she underwent lengthy surgery during the night of Tuesday-Wednesday at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. This is a hospital with a celebrated tradition of top neurosurgeons and, despite the best efforts of those involved, they were unable to save her right eye. She is listed as being in a critical but stable conditions. There is not much else that can be said as to try to reach any more conclusions more would simply be guesswork and the last thing that is needed right now is endless speculation. We will find out what happened after everything has been properly looked at. We will discover the full extent of her injuries when the surgeons are able to reach conclusions.
“We are grateful for the medical attention that Maria has been receiving and her family would like to thank the Neurological and Plastics surgical teams,” said John Booth, the Marussia Racing team principal. “Maria’s care and the wellbeing of her family remain our priority at this time. Her family are at the hospital and we are doing everything possible to support them. We ask for everyone’s patience and understanding with regard to updates on Maria’s condition. We will provide further information when it is appropriate to do so and with consideration for her family. In the meantime, we would all like to take this opportunity to praise the emergency services at Duxford Airfield, who were on stand-by yesterday, as is usual procedure for a Formula 1 test.”
Booth said that the team has embarked on “a very comprehensive analysis of what happened” and that this process is still ongoing.