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8 months after life-threatening F1 crash, de Villota cleared to drive again

The Spanish driver lost an eye during a test accident in England last summer.

File photo of Maria de Villota in October, her first public appearance since the accident.
File photo of Maria de Villota in October, her first public appearance since the accident.
Image: Gregorio Lopez/CORDON/Press Association Images

THE DRIVER INJURED in a life-threatening Formula 1 crash last summer has been given permission to get back behind the wheel.

Maria de Villota, 32, lost an eye when the car which she was testing crashed into a truck ahead of the British Grand Prix last July.

After a remarkable recovery in eight months, de Villota revealed this week that she has been cleared to drive, although it is unlikely that she will ever race again.

“The distances I can already calculate quite well and it feels like nothing ever happened,” she told AFP.

At the end of the day my natural habitat is in a car and I am happiest in that environment. I missed it.

De Villota was testing a car for the Marussia team at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire when the accident happened on 3 July.

The daughter of former Spanish Formula One driver Emilio De Villota, she had previously raced in Spanish Formula Three and the Daytona 24 Hours.

She added: “When your life is saved no one owes you anything. I don’t hold any rancour towards the sport. The only thing I want is for the safety in races and tests to be improved.

“I will collaborate with them on what is currently lacking. Moreover, I feel very grateful to all the teams and drivers who have supported me after the accident.”

– Additional reporting by AFP

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