Maria de Villota has revealed she was “terrified” when she saw her facial injuries for the first time.
Marussia’s female test driver was critically injured when the front of her helmet struck the loading ramp of a transporter during a straightline aerodynamic test earlier this year. She has now spoken for the first time since the accident, giving an interview to the Spanish weekly magazine Hola!
The magazine featured de Villota, with short cropped hair and wearing an eye-patch over her lost right eye, on the cover.
“The first day I looked in the mirror, I had 104 stitches on my face, coloured black and seemingly sewn with nautical rope, and I had lost my right eye. I was terrified,” she said in Spanish.
But de Villota insisted: “I have won this race, because I’m alive.”
Spanish media reports say de Villota remembers everything about the crash, will reveal the details during a press conference on Thursday, and is not ruling out an eventual return to racing.
“Now I have only one eye I perceive more things than before,” she told Hola! “Before, my life was a race against time, but now I see that you have to stop and measure things differently.”
The magazine said she is set to undergo two more operations; one for a skull injury and another to rebuild the eye area. She said she still suffers headaches.
“I lost this eye for a reason,” she insists. “Something in life is waiting for me — I am sure.”