Carlos Gracia criticises Marussia after de Villota crash

Carlos Gracia, the highest-ranking Spanish motor racing official, has criticised Marussia after the team implied Maria de Villota’s recent testing accident was her fault.

Without actually saying the crash into a stationary truck during straightline aerodynamic testing was driver error, Marussia recently revealed that an internal investigation showed the car had not failed. Asked how he had digested the statement, Gracia – president of Spain’s sanctioning body and an FIA vice-president – admitted he read it “with some indignation”.

“I think it was not necessary when the (external) investigation is ongoing,” he told AS newspaper. “I see it that they want to shift the responsibility to Maria, but we need to wait if she can recover her memory.

“In any case, even if it was a driving mistake, there was a failure of logistics, when we speak about a truck ramp that acted like a knife. It’s the same as a garage door raised to the height of a driver’s head. That’s a team failure, so there is a responsibility that certainly is not Maria’s.”

Gracia said he doubts a situation with such a grave outcome would have occurred if de Villota was testing for a bigger team.

“I have asked (FIA president) Jean Todt to regulate and ensure minimum safety measures and to consider it for the next World Council. What is clear is that a top team, a Ferrari or McLaren, would have worked more seriously. These modest teams should improve their basic safety,” he said.

Marussia race driver Timo Glock said at Hockenheim that his teammate is “recovering well” from her head and facial injuries, which involved an irreparably damaged right eye.

“The last thing I heard is that she is very stable, talking to her family and the doctors and on the road to recovery,” said the German. “Of course there is still a long way to go, but in the circumstances, she is doing very well,” he is quoted by the SID news agency.


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