Gracia calls for ‘prudence and respect’ for de Villota

Spain’s motor racing federation has vowed to help get to the bottom of the incident involving seriously injured female test driver Maria de Villota. But Carlos Gracia, president of the RFEdA, expressed caution in light of rampant speculation following the 32-year-old Spaniard’s impact with a team truck whilst ‘straightline testing’ Marussia’s 2012 car in the UK on Tuesday.

De Villota is currently in hospital with reportedly “severe facial and head injuries”.

Amid some reports she was fighting for her life and unconscious for a long time after the morning incident, Marussia confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that di Villota was conscious in hospital.

“Right now, the only important thing is the health status of Maria, and in this sense we call for the greatest prudence and respect,” Gracia told the Spanish sports newspaper AS. “We have heard lots of things in the last hours but there should not be speculation about something so serious.”

Reports in Spain said de Villota underwent emergency surgery for a skull injury, thereafter regaining consciousness and the ability to move her limbs.

“I have direct information from the family and now we can only say that it will take longer before we have an accurate forecast,” Gracia added. He did reveal, however, that his officials have already commenced efforts to understand the circumstances of Tuesday’s accident.

“We have asked the FIA to open up all the information to know what has happened in this test,” he said. “We also want the Marussia team to offer its version of events,” added Gracia.

“I insist that now the main thing is Maria’s recovery, but we also need to know what has happened, especially for the necessary measures so that something like this is not repeated.”

Writing in the Telegraph, Tom Cary repeated speculation that the incident was caused by inexperienced di Villota being caught out by the Marussia’s anti-stall system. But another British journalist, the Times’ Kevin Eason, said the crash had “baffled Marussia team executives”.

He also said de Villota “was well enough last night” to phone her father Emilio, a former F1 driver.


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