Marussia show De Villota support
Marussia driver Charles Pic has expressed his upset at the accident involving Maria De Villota
Marussia driver Charles Pic has admitted to being "very affected" by the accident involving test driver Maria De Villota.
De Villota spent the night at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after sustaining head and face injuries, initially described as "life-threatening" by an ambulance service spokesman. Marussia, however, at least offered some encouragement later in the day by stating the 32-year-old was "conscious" with "medical assessments...ongoing".
The statement added De Villota was "receiving the best medical attention possible at the hospital, which is the region's major trauma centre". A message read out ahead of the FOTA fans' forum at Williams' headquarters in Grove further added that De Villota's condition was "looking better" than in the morning.
De Villota, yet to acquire the mandatory super-licence required to compete in Formula One, was taking part in her first test for the team, a straight-line aero at Duxford Airfield. De Villota had just completed her initial installation run when her car ran into the tailgate of a support truck at around 20-30mph, which was at such a height to inflict the head trauma.
Frenchman Pic, in his debut season with Marussia, has expressed his obvious concern for De Villota, known to be a well-liked, hard-working member of the Banbury-based team. Via his Twitter account, Pic said: "I am very affected by what happened to Maria...and I sincerely hope she will heal quickly. All my thoughts are for her and her family."
Early theories behind the accident have suggested the anti-stall mechanism on the car kicked in as she approached a makeshift pit area, suddenly propelling her into the truck. With emergency services at the scene, De Villota was attended to quickly, initially by fire crews and soon after paramedics.
Although it is believed she was unconscious for around 15 to 20 minutes, Press Association Sport understands De Villota at least regained consciousness and was talking prior to being transferred to Addenbrooke's.
A statement from East of England Ambulance Service, who attended the scene, confirmed receiving an emergency call at 9.17am prior to despatching a crew to Duxford. Spokesman Gary Sanderson later stated the service had treated a woman who had "sustained life-threatening injuries".
Air ambulance charity Magpas were also on hand to assist, with Dr Darren Reid and volunteer paramedic Dave Mee in attendance. A statement read: "The Magpas team were called to Duxford Airfield and arrived at 10:20am after a Formula One car collided (at slow speed) with a lorry tail lift.
"The Helimedix assessed the patient, who suffered facial and head injuries, and administered pain relief as they worked alongside an EEAST ambulance crew who were also at the scene."