Marussia is tipped to reveal in the coming days that Maria de Villota’s test crash was the result of a “chain of unfortunate circumstances and mistakes”.
The team recently insisted that, following an internal investigation, a failure of the 2012 car had been ruled out as the cause of the incident. Spaniard de Villota, 32, is currently in a Madrid hospital, having spent 17 days in a Cambridge (UK) hospital recovering from severe head and facial injuries that required the amputation of an eye.
“We’re now 100 per cent confident that the car was not to blame in the slightest,” team boss John Booth said at Hockenheim last weekend.
An external investigation is now underway, but Booth warned that it will be a “very long process”. In the meantime, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said Marussia is planning to release “within the next ten days” a further report about the circumstances leading up to de Villota’s impact with a stationary truck. The report said the finding will depict a “chain of unfortunate circumstances and mistakes” that led to the front of her helmet striking the truck loading ramp.
Auto Motor und Sport said de Villota’s trajectory from the Duxford runway to the temporary pits included a curve, resulting in her struggling to find the clutch lever as the steering wheel was not in the normal 9 and 3 o’clock position. Spaniard de Villota had reportedly already forgotten to push the neutral button, and with cold tyres and brakes then struggled to stop the car as the 750hp engine powered it forwards in a low gear. A role may also have been played by “panic”, or “doing the wrong thing at the wrong moment”, the German publication added.