Duxford: Driver Conscious After Test Drive Crash

A Formula-1 professional test driver has been badly hurt in a low-speed crash at Duxford Airfield this morning.

Cambridgeshire Police say emergency services were called after 9 am following a low speed collision with a lorry's tail lift.

Maria de Villota, a test driver for the Marussia F1 team, was taken to Addenbrooke's hospital after her car collided with a lorry at Duxford airfield this morning.

Gary Sanderson, from the East of England Ambulance Service, told Heart: "A woman has sustained life-threatening injuries and following treatment at the scene by paramedics, she has been taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital for further care.''

The accident is said to have happened at low speed after Villota pulled off the track following a lap during which she reached speeds of about 200mph.

In a statement, a spokesman for Marussia said: "At approximately 9.15am, the Marussia F1 Team's test driver, Maria De Villota, had an accident in the team's MR-01 race car at Duxford airfield where she was testing the car for the first time. The accident happened at the end of her first installation run and involved an impact with the team's support truck.  

Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed, a further statement will be issued.''

A spokesman for Duxford airfield, said testing had been suspended while team personnel and medics assessed the situation.

Villota is the daughter of retired Formula One driver Emilio de Villota. This year is the first season the team has competed as Marussia after the Russian sports car manufacturer bought a controlling stake in the former Virgin team.

The Magpas Helimedix Air Ambulance was scrambled and helped with the care of the Maria at the scene: "We assessed the patient, who suffered facial and head injuries, and we administered pain relief - as we worked alongside an East of England Ambulance Service Crew, also at the scene." 

In a further update from the Marussia F1 team this afternoon: "Since Maria's arrival at the hospital at approximately 10.45hrs, she has been receiving the best medical attention possible at the hospital, which is the region's major trauma centre. Maria is conscious and medical assessments are ongoing. The team will await the outcome of these assessments before providing further comment. The team's first priority at this time is Maria and her family."

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