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María de Villota

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Maria Villota

On the left, Maria de Villota smiling and wearing a white and red racing suit while on the right, a skull with a right eye injury

13 January 1980Madrid, Spain (

Related to
Emilio de Villota (father)Emilio de Villota Jr. (brother)

2009–2011200920092008200820072007, 20102006–072005–062001–05
Superleague FormulaFormula Palmer AudiTrofeo Abarth EuropeEuroseries 3000Italian SuperstarsADAC Procar – Division ISpanish GT ChampionshipWTCCFerrari Challenge EuropeSpanish F3

October 11, 2013, Seville, Spain

Rodrigo Garcia Millan (m. 2013–2013)

Emilio de Villota, Isabel Comba

Similar People
Emilio de Villota, Susie Wolff, Antonio Lobato, Jules Bianchi, Carmen Jorda

Marriage location
Santander, Spain

Former f1 test driver maria de villota found dead

María de Villota Comba (13 January 1980 – 11 October 2013) was a Spanish racing driver. She is the daughter of former Formula One driver Emilio de Villota, and sister of Emilio de Villota Jr., who similarly competed in Formula Palmer Audi. Prior to her death, De Villota was recovering from serious head and facial injuries, sustained during an accident in straight-line testing as the Marussia Formula One team test driver.


On the left, Maria de Villota smiling and wearing a white and red racing suit while on the right, a skull with a right eye injury

Nueva curva maria de villota en el circuito del jarama race

Early career

De Villota was born in Madrid. She competed in numerous racing series, including the World Touring Car Championship and ADAC Procar Series. In August 2009, she signed with Atlético Madrid to race for the remainder of the season in the Superleague Formula open wheel racing series. She remained with the Atlético Madrid team until the series folded in 2011. She also competed in the 2005 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race.

Formula One

Maria de Villota smiling while holding a helmet and wearing a white, black, and red racing suit

On 18 August 2011, the Lotus Renault GP team confirmed reports that De Villota had made her Formula One test debut in a Renault R29 at the Paul Ricard Circuit, and that her management was in talks to secure her a test driver seat in the future. In December she reiterated her desire to work with the team in 2012, adding that she was in advanced talks over a third driver role.

Maria de Villota smiling while waving her hand and wearing a white, black, and red racing suit

On 7 March 2012, it was announced that María de Villota had joined Marussia F1 Team as a test driver, with the opportunity to sample Formula One machinery later in the year.

Duxford Aerodrome testing accident

At approximately 9:30 on 3 July 2012, De Villota was involved in a testing accident at Duxford Aerodrome in England while carrying out straight-line testing for Marussia, her first time in the car. Her car crashed into a stationary truck at the end of a test run when it had just returned to the service area. A BBC reporter who witnessed the accident estimated the car was travelling at between 30 and 40 mph (50 and 65 km/h) when it crashed. It took an hour for her to be removed from the car and she was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridgeshire with life-threatening head and facial injuries. She was later reported to be conscious. The following DAY, Marussia team principal John Booth said De Villota remained in a "critical but stable" condition in hospital and had lost her right eye.

María de Villota smiling, with blonde short hair, and wearing a red eye patch, a black and white coat with stars design, and a black and white blouse

On 6 July, the Marussia Technical Centre said that following an operation that day, her condition in relation to her head injury had improved. On 16 July, Marussia said the car was not at fault. Team principal John Booth said: "We are satisfied the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident". After a stay of 17 days, De Villota left the hospital and returned to Spain, having escaped severe neurological damage.

De Villota made her first public appearance since the accident in October, giving an exclusive interview to ¡Hola! magazine and then hosting a press conference for the general media. She revealed that she had lost her senses of smell and taste, still suffered from headaches, and was scheduled to undergo further surgery, but that she was open to a future return to racing if she were to be granted a licence, and that she also wished to become involved in promoting safety improvements in motorsport. She released a computer graphic which showed the extent of her initial cranial injuries.

In 2015, an official report compiled by the Health and Safety Executive concluded that De Villota had not received full guidance on how to stop the car, and was caught out by its anti-stall system, which activated as she attempted to brake to a standstill and pushed the car forward into the tail-lift of the team's service truck.

Personal life

De Villota married Rodrigo García Millán, a personal trainer and owner of Oxigeno Training, on 28 July 2013 in Seville, less than three months before her death.


On the morning of 11 October 2013, exactly one year from her first public appearance after her testing accident, Spanish media reported that De Villota, aged 33, had been found dead in her Seville hotel room; Eurosport reported that her family had confirmed her death. An autopsy confirmed De Villota had suffered a cardiac arrest.

At the time of her death, De Villota was scheduled to participate as a speaker at the Seville Fundación Lo Que De Verdad Importa (LQDVI) conference and was due to launch her autobiography Life Is a Gift on 14 October.

Notable published works

  • La vida es un regalo ("Life Is a Gift", 2013) ISBN 9788415880394
  • Decorations

  • Golden Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit (Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo, 29/10/2013).
  • World Touring Car Championship

    (key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

    Euroseries 3000

    (key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

    Superleague Formula

    (key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

    † Non Championship round

    Mar a de villota


    María de Villota Wikipedia