ARCHIVE F1 Mourns the death of a 33 year old Villtoa as Practice begins in Japan

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As second practice began a driver Maria Villtoa was found dead in a hotel room in Spain one year after her accident during a test at Duxford Aerodrome.

She was born in Spain on 13 January 1980 to Emilio de Villota who raced in 15 Grand Prixs. She completed in many forms of motorsport including WTCC and Superleague Formula and complete in the 2005 24 Hours of Daytona.

Her first F1 drive came for the lotus team at the Paul Ricard Circuit, and that her management was in talks to secure her a test driver seat in the future

She then joined the Marussia F1 Team and it was while driving for them that she had crash claiming her left eye. She also wished to become involved in promoting safety improvements in motorsport. She released a computer graphic which showed the extent of her initial cranial injuries.

She died at a hotel in Seville where she was promoting a book she died after cardiac arrest, with it being believed that the underlying cause may have been a ‘detachment of brain mass’ as a result of her 2012 accident.

Susie Wolff, Williams’s development driver: “She had such a spirit for life and what she came through was a testament to her strength of character and her positive outlook. After the accident, she was so behind me and had such a lust for life. She was so happy to be alive and that she’d survived it. She had so many great plans for the future. She was just an incredible lady.”

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