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Maria De Villota – further update from Marussia

Marussia F1 team have released the following update on their injured test driver Maria De Villota:

It is now eight days since Maria De Villota’s accident at Duxford Airfield in her debut test for the Team.

Despite severe injuries, Maria’s recovery during that time has been remarkable.

Following two successful surgical procedures in the days following the accident, last Saturday the medical team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital began to gradually reduce the level of Maria’s sedation. By Sunday morning, Maria was awake and able to speak to her family, which provided a very important – albeit early – indication that there were positive signs for Maria’s recovery.

Since that time, Maria has been making small but significant steps. She was moved out of the Neurological Critical Care Unit on Monday and is no longer receiving sedation. Her family remain by her side and she is communicating freely with them and the medical team. Medical assessments are ongoing to monitor Maria’s improving condition.

We have provided this update with the consent and support of the De Villota family who, whilst keen to ensure Maria’s care remains the priority, are understanding and appreciative of the concern for her wellbeing.

Maria De Villota no longer critical

Marussia F1 team released the following statement yesterday regarding the condition of injured test driver Maria De Villota:

Earlier today, Maria underwent further surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. This was a planned procedure that would depend upon the continued stability of Maria’s head injuries, and this morning the medical team were sufficiently happy with her progress to allow the operation to go ahead.

The surgeons successfully completed the next phase of surgery required to address Maria’s facial injuries. After the lengthy initial procedure, which commenced on Tuesday and concluded on Wednesday, today’s secondary operation took significantly less time.

Since the operation today, Maria’s condition in relation to the head trauma she received has further improved, to the extent that she is now “serious but stable”.

Whilst Maria remains acutely ill, this confirms that she has been responding well to the treatment she has received since her accident. Coupled with the significant progress that has been made with regard to her facial injuries, we feel sufficiently comfortable to proceed with a further update.

On a more personal note, we have taken a great deal of encouragement from today’s developments and the rather more positive signs for Maria’s family.

Statement from Maria De Villota’s family

Marussia F1 team have released the following statement on behalf of the De Villota family:

Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge
5 July 2012, 20.00hrs

“Maria remains in a critical but stable condition here at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. While there is no further news than that at present, we have at least been able to take encouragement from the fact that Maria has remained stable throughout since the accident, particularly during the first night following such a lengthy surgical procedure as she experienced yesterday.

We, the family, are supporting each other here at Maria’s side and we take great comfort from the remarkable medical care she has been receiving. We remain positive and this is due, in no small part, to the overwhelming expression of love and support for Maria from every corner of the world. We would also wish to thank everyone at the Marussia F1 Team for all the care and attention they have shown us over the past few days.

With our sincere gratitude.”

Isabel De Villota
Representative of the De Villota Family & Maria’s Sister

Reflection on Maria’s testing crash

On Tuesday, Maria De Villota crashed in the Marussia MR-01 during testing, as a result of which she was rushed to hospital in critical condition. It has since been confirmed that she has lost her right eye. Having followed the Marussia team’s press releases and the social media reaction, I have been struck by two key features of motorsport.

Firstly, the accident confirms what we all know, but often conveniently forget: Motorsport is dangerous. Accidents happen, and the consequences can be serious. Every racing driver knows the risks involved, and some are unfortunate enough to be injured doing what they love.  When Maria got into her F1 car on Tuesday morning she would not have expected to finish the day in hospital, but such a dramatic turn of events is the result of taking part in an inherently dangerous sport.

Secondly, and more importantly, the motorsport community is made up of people with genuine affection and concern for each other. Racing is competitive – sometimes to the point of generating conflict between teams and drivers – But there is a softer side to the sport, and this week it came out in full force. Twitter was flooded with messages of support for Maria, her family and the Marussia team. The messages came from teams, drivers and officials in Formula One, as well as racing fans and colleagues throughout the world. The Marussia team’s most recent statement included the following: “…we have been overwhelmed by messages of support for Maria, her family and the Team and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for those.”

Although the accident was a shocking reminder of the risks involved in racing, it resulted in an inspirational display of the unity in the motorsport community. The support will doubtless continue as Maria recovers.

Marussia issues medical update on Maria De Villota

Marussia F1 team issued the following update this afternoon regarding test driver Maria De Villota after her crash during testing yesterday morning:

Further to the accident at Duxford Airfield yesterday involving the Marussia F1 Team Test Driver, Maria De Villota, the Team can now provide a further update on Maria’s medical condition.

Subsequent to yesterday’s official statements from the Marussia F1 Team, the surgical team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge embarked on a lengthy procedure to address the serious head and facial injuries sustained by Maria in the accident. The operation began yesterday afternoon and she was in theatre until this morning. Maria remains in a critical but stable condition.

John Booth, Team Principal of the Marussia F1 Team, with the consent and support of Maria’s family, would like to give the following update, which provides as much detail as is possible at this time:

“Maria emerged from theatre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital this morning after a lengthy operation to address the serious head and facial injuries she received in the accident at Duxford Airfield yesterday.

“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. However it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.

“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 One test.

“With regard to the accident, we have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment.

“Finally, we have been overwhelmed by messages of support for Maria, her family and the Team and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for those.”

Marussia team statement on Maria De Villota

The Marussia F1 team has released a statement regarding Maria De Villota after this morning’s testing crash. The statement reads as follows:

“Further to the accident involving the Marussia F1 Team’s Test Driver Maria De Villota this morning, the team can confirm that Maria was transferred by ambulance from Duxford Airfield, where the accident happened, to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

“Since Maria’s arrival at the hospital at approximately 10:45 this morning, she has been receiving the best medical attention possible at the hospital, which is the region’s major trauma centre. Maria is conscious and medical assessments are ongoing. The team will await the outcome of these assessments before providing further comment.

“The team’s first priority at this time is Maria and her family.”

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