Marussia driver Maria de Villota injured in test crash

2012 F1 season

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Marussia test driver Maria de Villota has been injured in a crash while testing the car today.

The team were running at Duxford Aerodrome in Cambridgeshire when de Villota’s car struck a stationary vehicle belonging to the team.

Eyewitnesses said the crash happened after de Villota had completed a run and was returning to the car preparation area.

Her condition was initially described as “life-threatening”, but the air ambulance charity that recovered her later confirmed she was “stable”.

Marussia issued the following statement: “At approximately 09:15 BST this morning, the Marussia F1 Team’s test driver Maria De Villota had an accident in the team’s MR01 race car at Duxford Airfield where she was testing the car for the first time.

“The accident happened at the end of her first installation run and involved an impact with the team’s support truck.

“Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed a further statement will be issued.”

De Villota, daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, joined the team as test driver in March this year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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117 comments on “Marussia driver Maria de Villota injured in test crash”

  1. Sounds like a nasty incident. Here’s hoping her injuries are not too serious.

    1. BBC has updated the article again. No source cited, but only the following:

      Villota is believed to be seriously injured.

      1. Yes, just picked up on that, and a few tweets saying the same thing. We can only hope for better news soon.

        1. This is awful. I hope we hear some good news soon. My thoughts are obviously with her family right now too as they must be going through hell.

      1. Saw the photos from BBC Cambridge. You can see that the edge of the lift floor, went in to her Helmet. She had her visor up.

        Really hope she pulls through.

        1. It was pretty shocking to see those and realize its really right there where her helmet is.

          Hope she pulls through as well.

  2. Unbelievable incident. It seems like it should be technical glitch.

    1. Based on the reports of the accident, it’s a weird one. It doesn’t look like driver error – it’s probably a mechanical fault.

    2. Indeed. Can´t imagine happening such a weird crash by driver’s fault. It was a straight-line aero test, wasn´t it?

      1. First, best fishes for her and the team… sounds like a nasty accident…

        And I also hope that we will be able to find out what went wrong…

    3. At first it sounded like an innocent low speed shunt, but as details come out it’s starting to sound more and more serious. Reports are that her helmet took the brunt of the impact, which is very worrying.
      The anti-stall theory reported by Racecar Engineering magazine does sound very plausible, but I think it’s probably best to wait for a further comment from Marussia.
      All of F1F’s thoughts go out to her and her family.

      1. From the photo I’ve seen, it looks as if she was very lucky not to have been, well… decapitated. Even at ‘only’ 20-30mph.

      2. If it was with a lorry, I’m not surprised if the main body of the car went under it. Sounds like she could be very lucky to make it through. Let’s hope for the best.

        1. F1 cars main body is no more than knee high. They’re like super powered luges…

  3. Sounds like a bizarre incident… and serious too…. I hope she’s ok

    1. Radio Cambridgeshire even captured the moment it happened (warning: you hear a car cracking as it hits the truck)

      1. @bascb Wow that crack sent shivers up my spine. The acceleration doesn’t sound as abrupt or “aggressive” as I first thought it would be?

      2. sounds like the throttle might be sticking, she probably has her foot hard on the brake pedal.

  4. Strangely Sky’s report doesn’t seem to mention accelerating in to the lorry but rather locking the rears “De Villota crashed into a stationary vehicle after locking up her rear-tyres and losing control of the Marussia whilst returning to the pits”

    1. locking up REAR tyres? I don’t know the car can be out of control with it. as far as I know front locking makes serious problem

      1. In fact rear tyres locking is more dangerous, as every little force can throw the car in any direction. Front tyres locking leaves a chance to go straight even if some force is acting from the side.

        1. I see. It can make car spin or side-walking right?

          1. Shaun Robinson (@)
            3rd July 2012, 17:16

            Yeah front locking generally caused mass understeer. Rear locking causes mass oversteer. Oversteer is generally more dangerous especially when you don’t know when it’s coming (of course it’s situational).

    2. Drop Valencia!
      3rd July 2012, 11:43

      I’ts impossible for a driver to lock the rears in a modern F1 car, so it must have been a mechanical fault. Either that or she was trying to park.

      1. Drop Valencia!
        3rd July 2012, 11:47

        Should say impossible to lock the rears without also locking the fronts, because the brake bias is always foward, even when manually adjusted all the way back, expecially at slower speeds. Hope she is OK.

      2. I think D’Ambrosio will tell you otherwise! : D

      3. Shaun Robinson (@)
        3rd July 2012, 17:14


    3. I doubt you can lock your rears at such a low speed. She saw the lorry, clearly it wasn’t her fault. It was unexpected.

      1. Shaun Robinson (@)
        3rd July 2012, 17:13

        You can lock at any speed if you apply enough force through the brakes. Even easier at low speeds when you consider the friction equation F=<uR. At low speeds R (reaction force, or weight) on each wheel is reduced from there being little downforce produced, so the limit of grip is considerably lower. Add in the factor that u (coefficient of static friction) was reduced from it raining and it makes it all too easy to lock up. Remember Glock spinning the Marussia around 360 degrees in the pitlane? – just like that.

  5. BBC reporting very serious, life-threatening injuries. hopefully all is well, fingers crossed

  6. Wow, sounds like a very strange incident. Here’s hoping she makes a full recovery.

  7. The BBC are saying she has life threatening injuries. sounds very worrying. Just hope she’s going to be ok. Sounds like something must have gone very wrong for an accident like this to happen at a straight line test though.

  8. I almost went to Duxford this morning, such a shame to hear about this. Best wishes to Maria and the team.

  9. Just seen this on the BBC. Doesn’t sound good, does it? I desperately hope she’s okay, as we all do.

  10. I really hope Maria pulls through. This is a horrible feeling.

  11. I fear for her, reading the reports and hearing the audio report i fear for her life.

    If the loading tray was partially (just above cockpit level) down and she hit this…. Not religious, but my thoughts are with her

    1. And confirmed now is that the helmet took the majority of the impact making this scenario very likely

      1. That would be very unfortunate if true – Surtees, Massa and de Villota making three persuasive arguments for canopies/protection.

        Awful news in any case.

        1. She is very lucky this didn’t happen to her 10 years ago or so

  12. Terrible news. Surely some sort of technical failure? Let’s all hope she pulls through.

  13. Oh, my. Hope she gets through this… sounds like a really nasty and weird accident.

  14. Racecar Engineering is speculating that the accident may have been caused by driver error when the anti-stall engaged.

  15. Terrible news. Racecar Engineering thinks she may have been caught out by the anti-stall:

    1. That could explain it, actually. They’ll be a full investigation, so we’ll know what happened eventually.

    2. Many commented when her involvement was announced that they didn’t think she was up to the standard of driving an F1 car. This is a horrible accident going by what has been reported so far and if Racecar Engineering’s supposition about being caught out by the anti-stall is accurate, then it would be a terrible case of prophecy.

      At this stage, nobody outside the team can probably say with any certainty what might have happened. Let’s all just hope she’s ok in the end and that the helmet improvements did their job here.

      1. I think many in here, me included, doubt her experience and qualifications to be a test driver for F1 Team. Is the accident is somehow related to little experience or qualifications,is something that teams should take in to account when selecting a test driver…

        However, hopefully soon tegamos positive news about her health, and Marussia and the FIA ​​can find out that the accident was due.

        1. F1 needs more women
          3rd July 2012, 15:11

          Let’s not forget that even the most experienced F1 drivers can be guilty of making the most basic driver errors – we see this during the races. I feel insulted for her that people are bringing her ability into question.

          What we should be questioning here is, not how test drivers are selected, but why on earth there was a lorry in such close proximity and no barriers in place? This is precisely why the ridiculous constraints on testing should be lifted and tests should be conducted on proper race tracks, with all of the relevant safety provisions.

          I hope she recovers.

          1. conducted on proper race tracks, with all of the relevant safety provisions.

            That I think is alluding to the idea of a few Marshall set up and a full medical compliment on hand…. as in race events… Which is unlikely to happen.

          2. Who is going to pay for that kind of provisions? The teams? If so then be prepared for saying goodbye to the kind of exciting racing we have now. That question that you ask have been asked many times before and all the teams and the FIA agree that the current situation is the best choice of all the bad choices available. This was a straight line test which normally is only used for relating aero performance of the wind tunnel with CFD and reality. Nothing special in terms of safety and certainly safer then going to an event like the Goodwood festival of speed.

            Despite you feeling insulted I think there is a very good reason why driving in F1 requires a super license. I too don’t want to automatically put the blame on the driver but the more I read about what happened the more I find it likely that she just forgot about the anti-stall and she was very unlucky with the timing and position of her car when it happened. I hope for her that I’m wrong but I certainly don’t want to exclude it. The questions that should be asked is “Did the driver get the proper instructions before commencing the test?”, “Has the team put everything in place to commence the test in a safe way? (proper instructions to the team, everything clear on where to go at the end of a run, etc.)”, “Did the anti stall kick in as expected?” and “Did everything work as expected at the moment the anti stall kicked in?”

        2. I don’t think driver error was the cause, as it is the instinct of the driver to slam the brakes, and at least turn ther wheel if you see an obstacle ahead of you, and she has enough single-seat experience to deal with a hand clutch, and to control locking brakes.

      2. Accidents happen. Could have happened to anyone especially in a prototype car. However having a truck lift at head height right by the ‘pits’ is going be a serious point of concern.

        Otherwise the accident was innocuous

  16. My thoughts are with Maria.

  17. toughts and preers with Maria and her family. From what I’ve read,this is a terrible accident. Hope she’s okay soon.

  18. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. I hope she pulls through.

    Why are objects that could cause serious injuries if struck placed near areas where racing cars are being driven? Straight line test or not, it is known that things can go wrong with cars and drivers can make errors. In my opinion things like that should be kept well away from striking distance should things go wrong. If they can’t get it a decent distance away, it should at least be behind something that is safe to crash into like armco or that new stuff (whatever it is called).

    I know there are inifinite possibilities of what can happen if things go wrong, but objects that can be struck need to be obstructed by objects that are safe to be struck!

    1. +1 I came here to comment on the same thing! How it was possible for her to hit a truck is unbelievable. It should have been as you said further away or behind some kind of barrier.

      There will have to be a serious investigation into not only the cause but also the precautions used by Marussia. Things like this should not be allowed to happen in 2012. Here’s hoping de Villota pulls through and makes a full recovery.

      1. and the loading ramp would have better been closed (as it looks like being open and in exactly the right height to hit the driver’s head in this case on the picture posted by Keith below).

        It does look as if more attention to these kind of things is needed.

        The most important thing now is that Maria de Villota pulls through and can get back in that car for a testing run as soon as possible

    2. Hopefully she’ll be ok.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the FIA stepped in because of this and changed some of the safety rules for straight line tests. Maybe restricting them to places like drag strips where there are barriers along the sides of the track to separate the cars from the teams and all their equipment. It seems weird that there is so much time, effort and money going into the safety of the circuits but in testing they’re allowed to run a car near a truck with the loading ramp at head height.

      1. I’m sure this will be seriously looked at, but what I’ve gathered from the incident so far doesn’t seem to indicate a systematic disregard for safety was the cause of this. F1 cars are dangerous because they are fast both in a straight line and going through corners, but in this case none of the factors were in play.

        To risk being tasteless, I’d say a similar accident could have happened to a kid at a go-kart competition, or even someone riding a bicycle near home, since the speed involved has been said to be around 20-30 mph – hardly something you need an F1 car or even an engine for.
        I really don’t think they were running a 200 mph straight-line speed test right beside their temporary pit area / canopy – they had an empty airfield to do that, but the accident happened when the car returned slowly to the pit areas. That’s something that I assume happens at drag strips as well, unless the pit crew wants to push the car all the way back from the end of the track with its engine shut down.

        From my point of view the incident should be (of course) investigated, but by the information I have now I think its just a very unfortunate accident, but not really something that could (or maybe even should) be used as a means to “over-promote” safety concerns – that would simply be inappropriate, since then logically the same precautions should be incorporated into many more events and locations besides F1 straight-line tests.

        1. There’s always a risk, no matter the speed, because of the nature of F1 cars.

          Maybe they could force the teams to shut down the car while still in the main straight and then recovering back to the temporary pits. There’s always room for improvement and I’m sure FIA will have a look at it.

          On a different matter, but not totally unrelated, I’ve always been surprised team members doesn’t use the whole safety equipment when in testing. For example, during friday practices, none of the mechanics use helmets or fire-proof clothing. I’ve always found that strange… I even asked Keith Collantine about it on twitter, but can’t remember if I got a response.

        2. Perhaps one could count the acceleration capability as a source of higher risk in F1 cars, but in that case why would one single out only F1? Other racing classes, open-wheeled or not, are comparably powerful and should then logically have to follow the same precautions. Even some road-legal cars should then have to be pushed to the garage by hand, because there is a chance that it accelerates to the wall otherwise. And why stop at acceleration – large trucks/lorries are dangerous as well, but due to their weight, not acceleration, and by the safety-above-all logic the teams should perhaps shut their trucks down by the highway and then push them to the pits by hand. The reason why this isn’t practiced is that accidents still do happen, no matter the precautions taken, and at some point the marginally reduced risk isn’t worth the cost or inconvenience of the safety measures.

          Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that open loading bays of trucks right in front of the pits is something that shouldn’t be avoided, but regulating things too far will inevitably lead to extremes, and these things should rather be avoided by using basic common sense and respect for lives of others and your own – as it is done in other, less-professional areas of life as well. Otherwise you’d have to say that lives of common people are worthless compared to F1-drivers, and the same safety standards shouldn’t apply to everyday situations, where cars move at speeds way above 20-30mph right next to similar dangerous objects or even people.

          1. @stjuuv all you’re saying is spot on. Guess they will take the best decision based on what happened. The FIA is pretty quick with this sort of things.

    3. I have been asking myself the same question, who park a truck in the middle of a drive.

      But thinking about if it hasn`t been there she probably would have run over at least 25 members of her team…

    4. who's better who's best
      3rd July 2012, 17:48

      I was going to say something similar but then I thought well they can’t have barriers iin the pits and if it was her fault and this happened in the pits itwould be carnage

  19. An image from the scene via BBC Cambridgeshire:

    1. From that picture it really looks as if the helmet hit the loading ramp.

      I just hope she recovers

    2. I very much hope she recovers. This is a terrible terrible accident.

      There are 2 pictures at this twitter account. If you hover your mouse over them then click “view at full size”, then you can see more. This is a morbid thing to do, but if you make both of them full size and then put them both on your screen and compare them then you can work out approximately where the lift gate is relative to her head. It looks to me like this is a horrible horrible accident. Modern medicine is pretty good these days, so I hope she can go on after this with a normal life.

  20. Thankfully, it appears that these set of circumstances would be highly unlikely to occur during a race weekend, however if impact was with Maria’s head this could be very serious indeed, even at low speeds. I wish her all the best.

  21. It is always chilling to hear of any serious accident in motorsport, and I sincerely hope the reports are embellished slightly and that Maria is ok and makes a full recovery.

    It is events such as this that make you have to reevaluate how Formula One currently conducts testing; firing a 200mph car down a runway is not the same as doing a test on a proper track or testing facility, with the correct safety infrastructure. If this had been on a track, whatever happened, be it a mechanical glitch or whatever, Maria would have ended up in the barriers and we’d be making women driver jokes, and not currently sitting here in anticipation of some god news.

  22. Accelerating into the lorry…. sounds alot like she hit the wrong paddle and stepped on the throttle.
    Either way .. very sad news.

  23. It suddenly seems crazy that we’d have F1 cars driving alongside lorries…

    Would it ever happen on a race track?! Of course not. So why should we have these conditions in testing?

    Thoughts go out to Maria. Sounds awful.

  24. Good news – de Villota was stable on arrival at Addenbrooke’s:

    Emergency medical charity Magpas, which helped to treat Villota at the scene, said she had suffered “facial and head injuries” and was in a stable condition on her arrival at hospital.

    1. thanks, lets hope she recovers soon!

      1. @bacsb – “Stable” doesn’t mean she’s okay. It just means that the doctors have gotten her to the point where they can relax a little bit and start thinking about the long-term situation because there is no immediate threat to her life. She’ll be monitored constantly, but she could still be in a critical condition.

        1. yes, I know. You can be perfectly stable while being comatose. But its better news than hearing how they are fighting to get her stable.

          So far, we can just wish her and the doctors to make the best of it.

  25. Looking at the twitpic – we might be lucky to be hearing about only one injured person – there are alot of people there and it looks like it turned to the right in their general direction, but only hitting the truck…

    1. That picture probably wasn’t taken until some time after the accident.

  26. As terrible as this news is, she was never supposed to be anywhere near that car in my opinion. Not being allowed to race instead of Glock in Valencia because she has no super license should automatically mean she is not allowed to participate in these kind of tests either. A super-license should apply on all levels of Formula 1 involvement as a driver. Just think about it; you’re not allowed to participate in an event (the race) that has hundreds of people there just to take care of safety and precaution but you ARE allowed to take part in a little private test where the atmosphere is most likely a lot more relaxed… yet the car itself is still just as fast and dangerous, even in 2012.

    I feel bad for having to say this, but I guess this is what you get for trying to get women involved just for the sake of it. I hope she pulls through and wish both her and the team the best of luck.

    1. As testing is one of the way to get a superlicence in the first place, your comment does not make sense at all.

      Not to mention that this is a test where the car runs in a straight line with a set speed, then stop turns and runs back again.
      I agree that it might me needed to have a look at thing as better barriers etc, and closing opened loading ramps that could be hit in a freak accident and things like that.

      But how on earth does what she has in her underpants influence driving a race car is completely besides me. Certainly it did not have any relation to the accident. If anything, it might have been the fact that it was her first run, but there has to be a first time for everyone, regardless of sex, race or nationality.

      1. But testing should never be the way of aquiring a super-license. Racing in lower leagues should. And looking at her track record, I think it’s safe to say she skipped pretty much the whole road that would normally lead to a Formula 1 drive. Now I know she’s not the only one (just look at Alonso or Raikkonen) but at least they really stood out and therefore attracted attention. Do you honestly believe that if she were a man, she would have gotten the Lotus Renault testdrive because of her very mediocre results in just a hand full of races in Superleague Formula? Come on now, we all know it’s because she’s a woman.

        I’m not talking down women, I just want a woman to get into Formula 1 for the right reasons.

        1. her involvement as a test driver (we all know she will never race), should be seen as a positive, it is more a symbolic gesture of equal rights, and gives young girls in junior formulas hope in a male dominated world.
          she is more qualified to drive the f1 car, then rich millionaire private owners of f1 cars.
          you are talking down women – by mentioning she is a woman, your judment would not be as harsh if it was an inexperienced male that had the crash – as you wouldnt be pointing out the fact that he is a male like you are that she is a woman.

          1. by putting an unqualified driver in a car that didn’t earn it, they have made life more difficult for every woman that does have the ability.

        2. What was unusual about Alonso’s pre-F1 CV except for the fact that he was so young in 2001 as a rookie?

    2. @roald – Do you think she just showed up at Marussia HQ one day and said “Hi, I want to be your new test driver” and they said “Boobs? Great! When can you start?”

      Maria de Villota might not have the impressive resume that would suggest she had what it took to succeeed in Formula 1. But she does have plenty of experience in open-wheel racing cars, including Formula 3 and Superleague Formula, and she tested an old Renault last year. She’s not so totally inexperienced that she didn’t know the difference between the accelerator and the brake when she got into the car.

      And so what if she doesn’t have her superlicence? When Lewis Hamilton joined McLaren, he didn’t have his superlicence. Did that mean he was unfit to be a part of McLaren’s driver development programme?

      1. Come on now, you’re making a caricature out of my opinion. Being the team to involve a woman in Formula 1 is great for marketing purposes and you know it. Of course she has experience, but what good is experience if you pretty much fail to impress AT ALL in slower categories? I can not understand for the life of me that you seem to think Lotus Renault or Marussia were genuinly impressed by her results in Superleague, almost constantly finishing outside the top 10 in a series not exactly known for it’s all-star lineup and decided to give her a call. Of course not, she was never going to cut it, she didn’t do too good in slower categories so there’s no reason for anyone to think “maybe she’ll do better if we give her a car that’s even faster and harder to drive!”. Please.

    3. How are drivers supposed to get the Superlicense if they cannot take part on a test with an F1 car? Racing in lower leagues doesn’t mean you will suceed in F1 either. Getting practice in the actual F1 machinery is the only way to make sure you’re fit enough to drive it.

      If anything, this highlights the need to better safety in straigh line tests too, which surely are believed to be relatively safe compared to proper testing.

      And your last comment… there have been many sucessful women driving racing cars. It’s very sexist to think like that… why not thinking that women don’t get the same chances as men?

      1. Like this

        To qualify for an FIA Super Licence the requesting driver must already be the holder of a Grade A competition licence, and additionally meet the requirements of the FIA International Sporting Code, Appendix L. These requirements state that the driver must be either the reigning champion in a lower category of motor sport, for example Formula 3 (British, Italian or Japanese championship, or Euro Series), Formula 2, or GP2 Series (formerly known as Formula 3000), or must have consistently finished well in these categories. For example, a driver finishing in the first three positions five times within the last two years in GP2 will be eligible for a Super Licence.

        Additionally, drivers who have competed in the IndyCar Series are eligible for a Super Licence if they finished within the first four places of the drivers championship. This allows drivers from the United States domestic series to move into Formula One without first taking part in other FIA sanctioned events. Under exceptional circumstances Appendix L also allows the FIA to award a Super Licence to a driver who does not meet the normal criteria if a vote reveals unanimous agreement by the members, and provided that the driver has completed 300 kilometres of testing at racing speeds in a current car.

    4. @roald Given we don’t yet know the full details of what happened – or even the extent of her injuries, which we all hope she will recover from – I think it’s unwise and distasteful to speculate and, based on those theories, criticise Marussia’s motives in giving her a test in the first place.

      1. i cant seem top press “reply” to Lancer033’s comment, but i would like to reply in some way and let him/her know that i do not agree with the comment “by putting an unqualified driver in a car that didn’t earn it, they have made life more difficult for every woman that does have the ability”
        he/she has presumed she is not qualified and has no ability, this is the exact mentality that belittles women, as he/she does not recognise that this female driver is already under immense odds because of sexism – and will not respect where she has got to in her career.
        I am Male, but i have taken an interest in sexism issues after meeting a smart woman 5 years ago that showed me the way. she has been my partner now for 5 years and will be for the rest of my life, and she has got me to respect women and realise that they are still not equal in this modern society.

        1. at what level has she won anything? If you can’t win decisively at lower levels, you’re not going to do well when you advance. At best, she’s been a mid pack driver in the lower formulas. That has nothing to do with her gender.

  27. Terrible news. But I’d have to agree with some other posters about lack of experience. The anti-stall theory is sound but aren’t new drivers briefed about these things? Or the team at least disables it or something?

    1. Seeing as stalling the engine does it no favours and also introducing artificial ‘aids’ to the experience gives a false impression (and false data) of how the car performs, no, disabling the Anti-Stall system probably isn’t an option.

  28. Hope she’s ok, didn’t sound good when i got the news this morning but as it’s been so quiet since i’m hoping no news is good news.

    As for the anti stall theory, i’ve recently seen 3 tv presenters driving this car without much trouble so i’m assuming a racing driver wouldn’t have much difficulty with this. More likely a foot slip/stuck throttle in my opinion.

  29. John_Mac (@)
    3rd July 2012, 12:55

    Sickening. Brings it all back – Jimmy, Ayrton, and so on.
    Far too beautiful a head and face to be smashed into the side of a truck. Horrific.
    It’s times like these make you wonder if it can possibly be worth it really,
    but then we get over it don’t we? I hope and pray that young Maria survives and recovers
    (and then throws the towel in).

  30. i hope shes ok, it’s been nice to see some women in formula one not holding a grid board. Got my fingers crossed for her…:-(

  31. It’s that horrible waiting and not knowing once again, the worst part of being a race fan. Hoping for the best for Maria, and desperately sorry for all at the team, it should have been a proud day for them.

    Must say I appreciate your quick updates and choice of sources @keithcollantine, on this page and Twitter.

  32. Good news people. According to a Spanish web site . She is ok. She talked to her parents and they are their way to londres. According to the web page she only has cuts on her face and an MRI or scan will be done to rule out any kind of trauma,etc.

    1. Hope that’s correct!

    2. That would be good news indeed!

  33. Awful news :( Sounds like a head-on one. Quite shocked to be honest! Really hope she pulls through, I’m sure she will, they’re strong these drivers.

  34. The anti-stall theory sounds about right, I’ve seen quite a few young/inexperienced (In F1 cars) drivers have problems with it in the past although its mostly been while leaving the pits rather than when coming back in.

    As to drivers without super license been unable to test, How else do you get one if you can’t test an F1 car? You could say by running junior categories but then at what point do you give a driver one? Formula Ford, F3, Renault world series, GP2, GP3? What if a driver comes up through a different ladder system in America or in something like touring/sports cars.

    The only way to find out if someone is qualified for a super license is to let them drive an F1 car & thats why a set number of F1 test miles has always been the qualifying factor for a super license.

  35. How does this anti stall system work exactly? I mean it obviously doesn’t happen when drivers go replace their tires at the pits, so there should more to the tale then just dropping below a certain amount of RPM.

    1. Same as your car mate, if you drop the clutch when you slow down to stop the anti-stall won’t kick in, if you don’t then it will add some throttle to up the revs and stop you from stalling.

      1. I’m guessing it would be more complicated then that for a F1 car. I’ve looked it up and F1 cars have multiple clutches:

        1. They have one clutch, but a staged release using two paddles, which enable them to have a smoother launch. When the driver stops they pull both in together (I think most of these levers are designed so that pulling in the ‘main’ clutch paddle will effectively pull them both in).

          Bear in mind that you’re talking about an 18,000rpm, zero-inertia-flywheel engine here, with virtually no low to mid range torque, and you’ll see why the anti-stall systems are quite aggressive.

          1. You make an interesting point there. Stefmeister mentioned here that she did already drove a F1 car, but that was for Renault. Maybe they had at Renault the system you mentioned, but at Marussia you would need to manually pull both levers. It would need to be something like that; you are correct that anti-stall systems are agressive, but that should never be a problem when you are deaccelerating, only at launching the car when you need to find the right attunement with traction. So perhaps that is the problem. Also we should not forget that Marussia uses the simulator of McLaren. If she trained with the ussual system of only pulling in the main paddle with the second one following and then has to step in a car where that system isn’t in place (which you normally can’t know when you launch the car) then I would suspect that might be the cause. Might be wrong though, but it is certainly a possibility.

    2. not sure how it is triggered but the rules states that it can only operate the clutch, and once triggered it must fully disengage the clutch and keep it disengaged untill the driver manually operate the clutch more than 95%

    3. listening to the audio of the crash, the car didnt sound like it is accelerating fast, but sounds to me like the throttle is stuck open (or an antistall running in gear – not neutral), and i presume she is holding the brake pedal down and it is still propelling forward as it is in gear. if she had the car idling at 5-10 metres from the truck, the low revving car could still have accelerated to 10-30km/h and her helmet coming into contact at even a low speed with a solid object, while presumable some of the rest of the car was still projecting forward – it is uncomfortable to think about, head compression, possible spinal injuries etc.

  36. BTW this was actually her 2nd time driving an F1 car. She drove a Renault R29 at Paul Ricard last year:

  37. She replaced Ho Pin Tung halfway during a Superleague Formula season where she performed just as well/poor as Ho Ping Tung did and he was spare/test driver for Renault.

    The Superleage Formula cars used modified Champcars with a 750bhp V12.

    So she’s no racing superstar (not even close), but she should have enough experience to drive an F1 car in a test. It’s not like you need a super license for that.

    1. The wiki page on Superleague Formula says the following:

      The cars are driven without the aid of traction control, launch control or anti-stall, leaving a lot down to the skill of the driver.

  38. Two things come to my mind: 1) What is doing a lorry so close by? I mean they are testing a F1 car!!!! There should be nothing without barriers around the track!!! That´s common sense!!!! I can´t believe that!!! 2) Her inexperience was the first thing that went through my head when I read about the accident. Let`s hope it has nothing to do with her accident. Someone wrote that even the most experienced F1-drivers make the most basic driver errors: yes, during a race!!! But as stated in the news, she was not even doing a test-drive (which was only a straight test drive), she was driving back to the preparation area. Anyway, let’s hope she is ok and that it is nothing too serious…

  39. Sounds terrible but really begs the question, why would they leave the loading ramp on the truck at that height so close to where the car was pitting? Surly not good practice, and a horrible way to learn the lesson!

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