Villota’s manager in contact with Ecclestone 22 August, 2011 Maria de Villota at Paul Ricard Aug.22 (GMM) Maria de Villota has admitted That F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is in ‘direct contact” with her manager’ in the aftermath of her recent Renault F1 test. The 31-year-old De Villota, the first woman to drive and F1 car in several years, tested a 2009 Renault R29 at Paul Ricard circuit – owned by Ecclestone – earlier this month. Marca sports newspaper asked de Villota if Briton Ecclestone – who admits he would like to feature a female on the formula one grid – is involved in her career. “My manager has direct contact with him and he (Ecclestone) has been following all of this,” she answered. De Villota was also asked if she is going to be F1′s first female driver since Giovanna Amati failed to qualify three times in 1991. “I hope so,” she said.