Grand Prix Drivers' chairman De la Rosa calls for safety probe after De Villota crash
19:30 GMT, 5 July 2012
Pedro de la Rosa and Felipe Massa
believe safety changes need to be made following the accident this week
that cost Marussia test driver Maria De Villota her right eye.
Following extensive surgery that
lasted over 12 hours on Tuesday night going into Wednesday morning at
Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, De Villota remains in critical
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Before the crash: Maria De Villota speaking and in the Marussia car at Duxford Airfield on Tuesday morning
Horror smash: Marussia test driver De Villota was injured when her car hit a team truck
Maria de Villota factfile
January 13, 1980 in Madrid, Spain.
Father Emilio De Villota was Formula One driver between 1976 and 1982. Brother Emilio De Villota Jnr is also a racing driver.
2012 Marussia (test driver)
2011 Renault (test driver)
Previous racing career:
2009 Formula Palmer Audi
2009 Trofeo Abarth Europe
2008 Euroseries 3000
2008 Italian Superstars
2007 ADAC Procar – Division I
2007 Spanish GT Championship
2005–06 Ferrari Challenge Europe
2001–05 Spanish F3
However, De Villota at least pleased her surgeons as the 32-year-old Spaniard had a comfortable night, with no adverse reaction to the operation and with no swelling on the brain.
With Marussia conducting an internal investigation into the cause of the accident that saw De Villota hit the tailgate of a service truck at Duxford Airfield, attention is slowly turning towards the eventual results.
Although De Villota was only conducting straight-line aero testing at what was a private event, one of the questions being asked is whether more could have been done on the safety aspect.
Furthermore, although Duxford is an FIA-approved venue, motor sport's governing body do not attend private test sessions.
Pedro de la Rosa, chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association whose aim – amongst other things – is to improve safety, said: 'We will put the facts on the table to see if there is anything we need to change to improve.
'When an accident happens, it means that something didn't work properly.
'We need to make sure, between the FIA, the teams and the GPDA, that we make changes for the future because it's not good enough.
'The first thing we need to do is understand what happened, what safety measures were taken and how the airfield was prepared for Formula One testing.'
Massa, involved in his own accident three years ago that nearly cost him his life and which resulted in him requiring a titanium plate inserted to strengthen his skull, feels the FIA should look into the matter.
'The most important thing is to understand what happened,' said Ferrari driver Massa.
'The FIA need to understand as well, to put everything in place for maximum safety that we need to have.'
Regarding long-term recovery for De Villota, Massa has conceded he found the initial going tough, but knew he had to stay focused and positive.
'Maria has 100% of my support,' said Massa.
'I suffered similar injuries, and thank God nothing happened to me, but I really hope everything will be okay for her and she is able to live her life in the best way she deserves.
'For me, it was not easy at first. You are at home and you are wanting to get back into the car, to race.
'I felt okay after the accident, but I knew I needed the time to recuperate.
'Staying positive helps your recovery, to have positive things in your brain, and my recovery was quicker than it was supposed to be.'
Wreckage: Emergency workers gather around the car, which remained wedged under the lorry it crashed in to
Lewis Hamilton has admitted to being 'absolutely devastated' when he heard the news of De Villota's accident
and injuries, whilst for Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel there was 'shock'.
Alonso said: 'Obviously we are very worried for this situation because we are still waiting for some more news.
'There are still some difficult days
until the situation is completely clear, but there was complete shock
when you heard the news.
'Obviously we don't know all the information. It's difficult to talk about reasons et cetera until we know the official version.
'But at the moment it's difficult to imagine how this could happen.'
As for reigning double champion Vettel, he said: 'It was dreadful for her. I'm just hoping she has a good recovery from now on.
'It's not clear what happened, but it
will be interesting to understand why it happened, if there was a
problem with the car or if it was a mistake she made.
'But what's important is she gets into a very good condition soon.'
VIDEO: Spanish driver Dani Clos: “It's been a difficult situation for everyone…”