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 Elle Draper

RIP Maria de Villota

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The racing world was shocked and saddened yesterday with the news that Maria de Villota was found dead in her hotel room in Seville.

Maria de Villota

Maria de Villota before her accident in 2012

Spanish Formula One test driver Maria had a horrific accident last year, at Duxford Aerodrome in England, that resulted in the loss of her left eye. Needless to say, this affected her ability to do her job which was obviously cause for extreme upset for her.

Thirty three year old Maria was one of only a very small number of ladies to make it to the top of Formula One. Her father was the former F1 driver Emilio De Villota, and just a few months before her crash was appointed as test driver for the Anglo-Russian team Marussia.

Maria was born in Madrid in 1980 and followed her father and brother (Emilio de Villota, Jr.) into the racing world. She competed in a number of high profile races around the world.

Her death has stunned the racing community, who held Maria in very high esteem, and she was heralded as an inspirational figure for women in racing.

She was in Seville to make a speech at a conference, but also to promote her autoboigraphy, “Life Is A Gift” which due to be released on Monday.

Sources close to the investigation say that she seems to have died from natural causes. An autopsy has confirmed de Villota had suffered a heart attack, with it being believed that the underlying cause of this was possibly a ‘detachment of brain mass’ as a result of her accident a year previously.

RIP Maria de Villota. January 13, 1980 – October 11, 2013

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