Marussia claim car not to blame for De Villota accident

Maria de Villota accident

Jul.16 (Reuters) An internal investigation of the crash that seriously injured Spanish test driver Maria De Villota at Duxford airfield in eastern England has found that the “car was not to blame”, Marussia Formula One team principal John Booth said on Monday.

Maria de VillotaDe Villota, who is now out of sedation and talking to her family, had just completed a straight-line aerodynamic test and was returning to mechanics when her car accelerated abruptly and slammed into a team truck at helmet level on July 3.

As a result of the accident the 32-year-old lost her right eye during emergency surgery.

A two-week investigation followed, including an external forensic investigation, and the findings satisfied Marussia team officials that a fault with the car was not the cause of the accident.

Details of the findings have now been passed on to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive who act on behalf of the public, for work-related accidents.

Maria de Villota Marussia“We are satisfied that the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident,” Marussia Team Principal John Booth said in a statement.

“We have shared and discussed our findings with the HSE for their consideration as part of their ongoing investigation.

“This has been a necessarily thorough process in order to understand the cause of the accident.

“We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria’s wellbeing. In that regard, we continue to support Maria and the De Villota family in any way we can.”

De Villota, whose father Emilio previously raced Formula One cars, was making her testing debut for the team.

Marussia statement:

The Duxford Testing Accident – Marussia F1 Team concludes its own investigations
Marussia Technical Centre, Banbury, UK

16 July 2012, 11.00 BST

14 days after Maria De Villota’s accident at Duxford Airfield, the Marussia F1 Team has now completed its own detailed investigation into the cause of the crash.

The accident occurred on 3 July during a straight-line test, at which Maria was making her testing debut for the Team and driving an F1 car for the fourth time in her career.

The Marussia F1 Team conducted an initial analysis immediately after the crash. This aimed to identify the causes and contributory factors behind the accident and also served to determine if there were any car-related implications for the impending British Grand Prix. Having carefully examined all the data and supplementary information available at that time, the Team were satisfied that there were no such car-related issues and cleared its chassis for race weekend participation.

Following its initial investigation, the Team proceeded to carry out further detailed analysis of the accident. An external forensic investigation was commissioned and carried out at Duxford Airfield (a FIA-approved and much used testing venue, compliant with the recommendations for a test of this nature) and with the team at the Marussia Technical Centre in Banbury. This external analysis has been carried out autonomously of the team’s own internal investigation.

As would be normal procedure, the Team’s findings have been shared with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the independent UK regulator which acts in the public interest in respect of work-related accidents.

John Booth, Team Principal of the Marussia F1 Team, commented: “We are satisfied that the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident. We have shared and discussed our findings with the HSE for their consideration as part of their ongoing investigation. This has been a necessarily thorough process in order to understand the cause of the accident. We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria’s wellbeing. In that regard, we continue to support Maria and the De Villota family in any way we can.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • fools

    so basically with all this information thats sounds from how i read “repetitive information….yet no indication that it was Maria’s fault which they wont say…but they exclude the car from being at fault?

    That was the longest essay formatted article I have ever read that basically just said in 1 sentence, that the car was not to blame. So why was this article so long and dragged with the same statements?

    Why hasn’t the team just said it was Maria’s fault. She was the only person in the car. so…..?

    I wish her speedy recovery and all and warm wishes, but this article sounds corny

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    @fools, if you must know, it wasn’t Maria’s fault. something in the car malfunctioned and it is 100% Marussia’s fault, for putting their trailer there that made her crash into it making her lose 1 eye. Who the hell do you think you are, blaiming Maria. Maria didn’t do anything wrong.

  • McLaren Fan

    A lot of hot air. Many words spoken not a lot of fact.

  • Kevin

    They have very clearly stated the car itself was not at fault, which is certainly possible. That leaves procedure and physical safety. Even if Maria made a mistake that could be shown to initiate the incident, the location of trailer inside the turning radius of the car, with a ramp parked off the ground a helmet height were both failures of the team to take proper care in accident prevention, which escalated what should have been a minor mishap into a serious incident. Had the ramp not been in the position it was, Maria would likely not have suffered any harm at all. Further, since they have not stated that all procedures were evaluated and found not at fault, one might assume they had a procedure which asked asked the driver to complete some action (push a button, or???) that resulted in the anti-stall causing the car to accelerate. This too is their fault, regardless of the car not failing to execute what it was told to do.

  • justme

    Marrusia are a bunch of amateurs and not F1 worthy and also full to blame of what happened.

    Also the way they communicate .. The first thing they say about the accident is that the team were satisfied that there were no such car-related issues.

    The fact that the trailer was there with an open gate which is on head level is unforgiving! Also, if Maria pushed the wrong button or did not when she had to, also then it is 100% Marussia’s responsibility for giving the right instructions and safety when something irregular would occur. Amateurs!

  • Butterfly

    It was probably Maria’s fault but down to lack of testing mileage.

  • McLaren Fan

    @ Kevin My point exactly.
    First rules of lorry’s with tail lift. the tail must be stored locked in the vertical position flat to the back of the lorry or flat on the floor.
    Second they have not disclosed if any software / procedure errors were revealed.
    I think the can of Bull Sh!t repentant needs to come out.
    Maria has many fans world wide who just want the truth not the legal mumbo jumbo!!!

  • Hawk

    it would be downright rude for them to say that it was Maria’s fault. they got what they wanted and that is they leave you to form your own opinions. by not mentioning where the fault was it only leaves one option. as for the truck’s tail gate, what about the truck itself? was it not supposed to be where it was or not? to what extent should we have dangerous obstacles in proximity to F1 cars. does it mean Monaco GP should be banned because it is so tight and therefore unsafe. or was Maria completely oblivious of the truck? up to you.

  • Kevin

    If, at Monoco, there were obstacles around the track with unprotected knife edged projections at roughly helmet height… yes, the race should be cancelled outright and never run again. The fact is, when barriers exist around F1 cars, they are covered by arresting systems, whether that be tires, safe barrier systems, or run off spaces. There are no trucks parked around the track, or in the pits near the path cars travel. This is a case of Marussia failing to take precautions that resulted in serious harm. They should be held accountable for that – no matter why or how the accident itself transpired. Just because racing is generally dangerous, does not mean that exposure to hazards can be ignored or dismissed as inevitable risk.

  • McLaren Fan

    I hate to say this the Monaco GP has no part in this at all.
    1, that is on track not in the pits.
    2, we are talking PIT AREA.
    Has anyone ever seen a truck with a tale gate down at helmet height in the pits of any F1 Grand Prix during the event?
    3, Maria has not been able to answer for her self as to what happened and lets be honest she is not going to have driven at the truck on purpose.
    4, the car not being at fault does not mean that the electronics including gear selection throttle anti stall which are all electric didn’t have a glitch.
    That is my opinion, others are entitled to their’s.