Race Car Driver Maria de Villota Found Dead at Spanish Hotel

Friday, 11 Oct 2013 09:15 AM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Race car driver Maria de Villota was found dead Friday in a hotel room in the Spanish city of Seville. The 33-year-old former Formula One test driver is said to have died from natural causes, according to Spanish police, however an autopsy was under way, the Associated Press reported.

De Villota sustained a serious head trauma during a crash last year in England while test driving for the Marussia F1 team. The crash kept her hospitalized for a month and caused her to lose her right eye.

Immediately following her death, De Villota's family posted on her Facebook page: "Dear friends: Maria has left us. She had to go to heaven like all angels. I give thanks to God for the year and a half that he left her with us."

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

In addition to her work as a Formula One test driver, de Villota also drove in the world touring car championship in 2006 and 2007, and the Superleague open-wheel series, the AP noted.

A Madrid native de Villota was the daughter of Emilio de Villota, a well-known former Spanish racecar driver who participated in 15 Formula One World Championship Grand Prix.

After learning of de Villota's untimely death, the Marussia team shared their condolences from the Japanese Grand Prix.

"It is with great sadness that we learned a short time ago of the news that Maria de Villota has passed away," Marussia said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Maria's family and friends at this very difficult time."

De Villota's death shocked and saddened drivers and F1 officials as news spread throughout the sport.

"The whole paddock is very shocked by the news that Maria is no longer with us," McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said, speaking as chairman of the Formula One Teams' Association. "She was an inspiration not just to women in this sport, but also to all those who suffered life-threatening injuries."

"If anybody represented strength and optimism, it was Maria," added Sauber's Monisha Kaltenhorn, the first female team principal in F1. "Her sudden death is a big loss to the motorsport world."

"She had such a spirit for life. What she came through was a testament to her strength of character and her positive outlook on life," added fellow driver Susie Wolff.

Editor's Note: Do You Support Obamacare? Vote in Urgent National Poll

On Monday, De Villota was scheduled to present her autobiography, "Life is a Gift," at a conference in Seville. The book detailed her struggles following her accident.

Related stories:

Jason Leffler Dies in NASCAR Crash in New Jersey at Age 37

Dick Trickle Dies: Colorful NASCAR Racer Apparent Suicide at 71

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Cambodia HIV Outbreak: 100-Plus People Diagnosed; Investigation Sought

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:50 PM

More than 100 HIV infections in a single Cambodian village have spurred the country's prime minister to ask for an inves . . .

Slender Man Case: Two Girls Competent to Stand Trial in Stabbing

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:26 PM

Two girls who allegedly stabbed a 12-year-old friend over the online game Slender Man are competent to stand trial for a . . .

Kate Upton Sexiest Woman Alive; Model Apologizes to Teen Brother

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:52 PM

Model Kate Upton was selected as People magazine's first Sexiest Woman Alive, a month after Chris Hemsworth received the . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved