Maria de Villota’s condition has been gradually improving after her horrific freak accident at Duxford Aerodrome on July 3.
The Spaniard was conducting her first straight-line test for Marussia when the car unexpectedly lurched forward as she was driving into the team’s makeshift pit area. She ran into an open loading ramp on the back of a truck, which was at helmet level, and suffered skull and facial injuries.
She underwent lengthy surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, but sadly doctors were unable to save her right eye. A week later Marussia reported that she had been “making small but significant steps”.
Inevitably questions have been asked about the 32-year-old’s qualifications. However, she successfully conducted a test in a 2009 Renault last year, and Lotus had sent a positive report on her capabilities to Marussia. In addition she had raced powerful single-seaters in the Superleague Formula.
At the British Grand Prix drivers carried star stickers on their helmets as a gesture of support.