de Villota to Make Grand Prix Paddock Return

Former Marussia F1 Team test driver Maria de Villota will make her return to the Formula 1 paddock at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.Maria-de-Villota_2843498

The race comes 10 months after her terrifying crash whilst testing for Marussia at Duxford Airfield. She was conducting a straight line test when her car suddenly accelerated in the temporary pit area, sending de Villota into the back of a stationary team truck.

De Villota, whose father is former Spanish Formula 1 driver Emilio de Villota, sustained life altering injuries in the crash, including the loss of her right eye.

Her recovery has been remarkable.  She now feels ready to return to the Formula 1 paddock at her home Grand Prix.

Admitting to Europa that she was “a little nervous” ahead of her paddock return she said,

“It’s the first race I’m going to after the accident, so I’m finding it harder to sleep, it’s hard for me, because I miss it, but I want to see all the drivers at home and I think we’ll see a great race, as we have seen lately,”

Obviously still passionate about the sport, she said that there are plenty of people to thank for their support and help through the tough time in her life.

“I want to thank many people who I have not seen since the accident, and I’ve been unable to acknowledge the support they gave me, like by putting my star on their helmet.”

The 33-year-old admits that her former team are working with new drivers and life goes on, but she is unsure how it will be when she bumps into members of the Marussia team. “I think now they’re working with new drivers, which is the natural cycle of things, I was with them, but life goes on.”

De Villota has continued to show a positive and strong attitude throughout her recovery.  She has reached the point of rehabilitation where she can now drive on the roads once again. Back in March she revealed that it felt like “nothing ever happened” when she returned to the wheel of a road car. “Last week they gave me permission to return to driving, the distances I can already calculate quite well and it feels like nothing ever happened.”

Despite the consequences of the accident, she admits that it has given her more appreciation for life and gained a different perspective.

Image courtesy of Sky Sports F1

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