BANBURY, England – The accident that caused one of the Marussia Formula One drivers to lose an eye wasn't the fault of the car involved, the team's representatives said after an internal investigation into one of the most serious F1 crashes in years.
Maria de Villota was driving an F1 car for only the fourth time — and first for Marussia — when she hit a support truck during a straight-line exercise near an airfield in England on July 3. She lost her right eye and sustained serious facial and head injuries.
The 32-year-old Spanish driver has undergone two operations. She remains hospitalized, but is beginning to recover.
"Having carefully examined all the data and supplementary information available at that time, the team was satisfied that there were no such car-related issues," Marussia said in a statement that was posted on the team's website Monday.
The statement quoted Marussia team principal John Booth saying that the findings of "our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident."
"We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria's well-being," Booth said.
De Vilotta is a daughter of former F1 driver, British GP winner Emilio de Villota. She first drove a Formula One car in 2011, a Renault R29 at the Paul Ricard circuit in Marseille, France.