María de Villota: the tragic story marked by an inexplicable accident when she was near F1

In his first check on the British GP, a severe crash brought on him to lose a watch. He died the next yr, however earlier than that he left a legacy that lives on.

Maria de Villota I used to be 32 years outdated when the group Marussia selected her as his check driver for the 2012 Method 1 season, which broke with 25 years with out feminine illustration on the wheel. Nonetheless, in his first examination, on July 3 within the preview of the British GP, a severe accident brought on the lack of his proper eye, and penalties that led to his dying on October 11, 2013. All through In these 15 months, the primary Spanish girl to succeed in F1 modified the main target of her nice ardour and targeted on street security, helped youngsters with neuromuscular and mitochondrial ailments, created a residence for girls in conditions of violence and wrote a e-book. Briefly, he left a legacy what, on the day I might flip 41, nonetheless alive.

Regardless of being the daughter of a driver who at age 30 raced her first Method 1 Grand Prix -Emilio de Villota in Spain 1977- and rising up between karts, oil and tires, motorsport was not an possibility in his childhood. Her dad and mom wished her and her siblings, Isabel and Emilio Jr., to attempt different sports activities and so they did. Till at 16, on the initiative of his brother, he entered a karting competitors and gained amongst about 2,000 boys. It was the affirmation that his dream of being an F1 driver was not unimaginable. And he fed him by going to review for a yr in the US to enhance his degree of English and graduate in Sciences of Bodily Exercise and Sports activities, in order that energy wouldn’t be a barrier on his path as a pilot.

It was demonstrated one morning in August 2011. Maria donned the black jumpsuit with gold particulars, tied her blonde hair, placed on her helmet and made the signal of the cross earlier than entering into the Lotus Renault R29. He waited a couple of minutes within the field on the French Paul Ricard circuit and, when he acquired the order from the engineers, he accelerated absolutely for 300 meters to turn into within the first Spanish in historical past and within the first girl after 6 years to drive a Method 1.

Regardless of what I may hear within the paddock, it was clear to me that this situation couldn’t be a barrier: “The great factor is that you just measure your self by the stopwatch. It doesn’t matter if you’re a person or a girl. We are able to drive an F1 completely and that doesn’t imply that many hours of coaching are wanted, a variety of sacrifice, effort and being a girl with a robust structure, “she advised The confidential.

“As a feminine driver, I used to be very glad to have the chance to drive a Method 1 automobile, as a result of it’s the pinnacle of motorsport and it has at all times been a dream for me. This has been an important step to get to F1 and now , greater than ever, it’s potential, “he declared a couple of check that the group solely confirmed on August 18 and that fueled the expectation that the Spanish would be part of the group because the third driver in 2012.

However it was not Lotus however Marussia -ex Virgin- that in March 2012 he confirmed María de Villota as his check pilot, on a group that had Timo Glock and Charles Pic as starters. “It by no means crossed their minds that he may get to Method 1 -confessed Emilio de Villota-. Effectively, because it was his dream, it was additionally mine “.

A number of days later, her younger daughter’s journey started in Melbourne, the place she watched the Australian Grand Prix, the primary date of the season. Though his biggest problem could be the check day for younger drivers in Abu Dhabi on the finish of that yr, within the run-up to the British GP. the group required her to do aerodynamic checks on the English airfield at Duxford on July 3.

She was accompanied there by her sister, Isabel, who was additionally her press officer. It might be a easy, straight-line check. However in Madrid, her mom was very nervous. “If there’s a day that you do not have to fret about, it’s right now”Emilio advised him earlier than going to work. It was her mobile phone that rang twenty minutes after the scheduled time for the rehearsal, and it was her daughter who advised her that Maria had had “a really dangerous accident” and requested her to journey instantly to England.

At first of the check that marked the start of the way forward for the Madrid, The Marussia MR01 hit the ramp of one of many group’s vans head-on, which was “uncommon” and “longer” than ordinary on the Grand Prix. “She’s lifeless?”Isabel requested between shouts from the field, the place there was no reply that might calm her. “We have no idea”they advised him, because the orders for an ambulance multiplied.

“I threw myself on the bottom to hope, once they advised me that María had moved. It was then that I assumed that if there was a second to name residence it was this and if there was an individual who may name it was my father,” recalled Isabel de Villota in this system Robinson report.

On the best way to the hospital in Cambridge, the ambulance carrying Maria stopped 3 times however medical doctors managed to make her arrive aware. “I’ve a headache”, was the very last thing he mentioned when his sister requested him how he was within the emergency room, the place that they had lined half of his head. Then, he entered the working room, the place he spent 17 hours. It was simply the primary in a sequence of operations to reconstruct her face.

It was solely on the fourth day that the pilot acquired the information that she had misplaced her proper eye. “He had 104 factors on his face, black, that gave the impression to be stitched with nautical rope, and he had misplaced his proper eye. I used to be terrified“, he confessed in his first interview, printed within the journal Howdy October tenth. Gone had been his hospitalization in England, which lasted till the top of July, and a brand new facial reconstruction intervention on the La Paz Hospital in Madrid. However the second of the accident was nonetheless recent.

“I assumed I used to be in an FIA stress check,” he acknowledged. I assumed I used to be in some form of simulation and that I needed to endure from a psychological perspective. That it was an endurance check. I used to be on the restrict of my energy, however I felt that I needed to present that I may cross that check. I used to be exhausted, exhausted. I additionally keep in mind the voice of the nurse, who mentioned: ‘Come on Maria, maintain on!’. Once I wakened I began talking in English, till my father advised me: ‘Please, Maria, converse in Spanish that mother is lacking half’. Then I began to understand what had occurred. “

Though his future as a pilot was lengthy gone, he quickly discovered a brand new objective. He reworked his ardour for motorsport into one by transmitting the significance of, for instance, carrying a helmet, the component that -in short- had saved his life. And his power was dedicated to Ana Carolina Díez Mahou Basis to enhance the standard of life of kids with genetic neuromuscular ailments. Personally, she married her boyfriend, Rodrigo Garcia Millan, on July 28, 2013.

He additionally managed so as to add his expertise, and create a everlasting reminiscence of what had occurred to him, within the e-book “Life is a Present”. Though she couldn’t current it publicly as a result of she died three days earlier than, she did handle to see it edited and was capable of give it to her dad and mom the night time earlier than touring to Seville, the place she died in a lodge room on the morning of October 10, 2013, the day they anticipated her for certainly one of his ordinary motivational talks. It was within the wake of a clot attributable to the results of the accident 15 months in the past.

“It isn’t great or morbid: it’s like life; unbelievable, stunning, laborious and delightful. Tonight I obtained off the bed to inform you this. I obtained off the bed as a result of, like many different nights, I really feel a ache within the chest that my medicines don’t calm So not solely dwelling is deciding. I might say, from my expertise, that dying to a sure level can also be deciding“he wrote within the introduction to his e-book. Phrases that also make sense eight years later.

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