De Villota to return to F1 paddock for Spanish GP

Maria de Villota (ESP) made her first public appearence after her life-threatening F1 testing accident. Maria de Villota Press Conference, Madrid, Spain, 11 October 2012.

Maria de Villota

Ten months after her near death Marussia testing crash, Maria de Villota will return to a Formula 1 paddock this weekend for the grand prix in her native Spain.

Last July, the 33-year-old was conducting a straightline aerodynamic test at Duxford, UK, when the 2012 Marussia inexplicably accelerated into a truck loading ramp.

De Villota, whose father is the former Formula 1 driver Emilio de Villota, sustained serious head injuries and lost her right eye.

Scheduled to attend this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, she told Europa she is “a little nervous”.

“It’s the first race I’m going to after the accident, so I’m finding it harder to sleep,” she said.

“It’s hard for me, because I miss it, but I want to see all the drivers at home and I think we’ll see a great race, as we have seen lately,” said de Villota.

“I want to thank many people that I have not seen since the accident, and I’ve been unable to acknowledge the support they gave me, like by putting my star on their helmet.”

She admitted she will have mixed feelings when she bumps into Marussia team members.

“I think now they’re working with new drivers, which is the natural cycle of things,” said de Villota. “I was with them, but life goes on.”

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