Date: 11th October 2013 at 9:09am
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Maria de Villota has been found dead in a hotel room in Seville aged just 33.

In July 2012, the former Marussia test driver suffered a horrific crash during testing.

The crash happened shortly after she had completing an installation circuit of the track at Duxford Airfield.

Witnesses at the scene reported that her car suddenly accelerated and crashed into the team truck.

Speculation had led to some reporters suggesting that perhaps the cars anti stall system had been at fault, but Marussia concluded following an investigation that the car was not to blame for the accident.

Maria De Villota’s injuries were sustained when her car crashed into the teams truck, which had the tailgate lowered at the time of the crash. De Villota’s helmet took the brunt of the impact at around 30-40mph.

She was unconscious for around 15 to 20 minutes, while she was treated by paramedics and the ambulance service announced that she had suffered life-threatening injuries.

The day after the crash the team announced that following a lengthy surgical procedure, she had lost her right eye.

Two days later she went back into theatre for a further procedure on her facial and skull injuries, but ever since that operation the news had been positive with Maria moving into a stable condition, awake and able to speak to her family.

A week or so later she left the Neurological Critical Care Unit and returned to Spain.

Maria de Villota’s recovery continued, where she was expected to continue to undergo periodical checks and treatments by specialists of the plastic and neurological surgery services.

In October last year the 32-year-old said that she didn’t know what she now wanted to do with her life, but didn’t rule out a return to motorsport.

In February she had been cleared to drive following a series of tests on her vision, but admitted that she still suffered from headaches and often felt weak.

No cause of death has yet been released. She was reported to have been in Seville to launch her autobiography.

Vital F1 would like to send our condolences to Maria de Villota family and friends.