Date:Friday October 12 2012
Three months ago Formula One was rocked with the news that Marussia test driver Maria De Villota had suffered a crash at Duxford Airfield.
The crash happened shortly after she had completing an installation circuit of the track at Duxford.
Witnesses at the scene reported that her car suddenly accelerated and crashed into the team truck.
Speculation had led to some reporters suggesting that perhaps the cars anti stall system had been at fault, but Marussia concluded following an investigation that the car was not to blame for the accident.
Maria De Villota's injuries were sustained when her car crashed into the teams truck, which had the tailgate lowered at the time of the crash. De Villota's helmet took the brunt of the impact at around 30-40mph.
She was unconscious for around 15 to 20 minutes, while she was treated by paramedics and the ambulance service announced that she had suffered life-threatening injuries.
The day after the crash the team announced that following a lengthy surgical procedure, she had lost her right eye.
Two days later and she went back into theatre for a further procedure on her facial and skull injuries, but ever since that operation the news has been positive with Maria moving into a stable condition, awake and able to speak to her family.
A week or so later she left the Neurological Critical Care Unit and returned to Spain.
But since returning to Spain at the end of July, there have been fewer updates on how Marussia F1 test driver Maria de Villota's recovery has continued, where she was expected to continue to undergo periodical checks and treatments by specialists of the plastic and neurological surgery services.
Thankfully that has so far gone well and the Spaniard has now spoken about the crash for the first time.
In an interview with Spanish magazine Hola and quoted by Sky Sports she said: 'In the beginning they were covering my eye so I couldn't see it. The first time that I looked in the mirror I had 104 black stitches in my face that looked like they had been stitched with maritime rope and I had lost my right eye. It left me terrified.
She continued: 'I remember everything - even the moment of the impact. When I woke up in hospital everyone was around me and they didn't even know if I was going to speak, or how I was going to speak. I started speaking in English. Then my dad said, 'Please, Maria, speak Spanish, because your mother is missing half the things you're saying'.'
The 32-year-old says that she doesn't know what she now wants to do with her life, but didn't rule out a return to motorsport: 'What I'm wondering now is if my future is being a racing driver or if there's something else I have to do with my life. I still don't know what I need to do.'
In America, there are cases of some drivers who hold a valid racing license with only one eye, despite the loss of depth perception so there is every chance that if Maria wants to return to the sport, she could aim for an unlikely return.
Date:Friday October 12 2012
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