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De Villota accident “not Marussia’s fault”

The Marussia Formula One team has indicated that Maria de Villota’s crash during testing, which led to her losing her right eye, was not owed to a failure of the car in any way, but instead to a “chain of unfortunate circumstances and mistakes”. The Spaniard is still in hospital recovering from her serious head and facial injuries.

“We are now 100% confident that the car was not to blame in the slightest,” commented team boss John Booth. There is an external investigation that is currently being conducted, but according to Booth, it will be a “very long process”. However, within the next ten days a further report from Marussia is said to be released regarding the circumstances that led up to De Villota’s collision with the truck’s loading ramp.

It has been reported that De Villota may, indeed, be at fault for the incident. Given that her route back to the pits included a curve, she may have had trouble finding the clutch lever, which was obviously not in the usual nine and three o’clock position. She had also, apparently, already forgotten to push the car’s neutral button, so not finding the clutch lever would have meant struggling to bring the car to a halt with cold tyres and brakes as the 560 kW engine propelled the car forward in a low gear.

It has been said that “panic” and “doing the wrong thing at the wrong moment” may have played a role. More details will be revealed in the coming days and weeks, but Marussia remains confident that the team is not to blame for the accident.

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