Formula 1 News

Maria de Villota found dead in Spanish hotel (updated)

The former Marussia driver was reportedly in Seville promoting her autobiography.
Friday, October 11, 2013

October 11th, 2013 (F1Plus / Rosie Baillie) - Ex-Formula One test driver Maria de Villota has been found dead in a hotel in Seville, Spain. 

The news was confirmed by her family and a Police spokeswoman who said: 

“The body of this person has been found in a hotel in Seville, there are nosigns of violence but we need to wait for the autopsy.” 

A statement from her family has been released, which reads: 

"Dear friends: Maria has left us. She had to go to heaven like all the angels. We thank God for the extra year and a half he left her with us." 

It’s reported that de Villota, 33, was in Seville lauching her autobiography "Life is a Gift".

FIA President Jean Todt released a statement paying tribute to the the Spaniard and sent his condolences to her family.

“Today is a tragic day for motor sport. My deepest condolences go to the de Villota family. María was a fantastic driver, a leading light for women in motor sport and a tireless campaigner for road safety.” The Frenchman said. 

“Through her courage, strength and determination she transformed her personal misfortune on the track into a powerful message for road safety that was heard at race tracks and beyond around the world. María was a beloved member of the FIA family. Our thoughts go to her family today.”

Last July the Spaniard suffered serious injuries and lost her right eye following a collision with a lorry while carrying out straight-line tests for Marussia at Duxford Aerodrome.

De Villota recovered from her injuries and went on to become an ambassador for safety in motorsport.

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