Maria de Villota found dead in hotel in Spain

2013 F1 season

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Maria de Villota, the former Marussia test drive who lost an eye in a crash last year, has died.

De Villota was found dead in a hotel in Seville according to local reports.

The 33-year-old was critically injured while testing Marussia’s F1 car at Duxford Aerodrome last year. Following intensive surgery she made a recovery but her right eye could not be saved.

Following her accident and recovery De Villota, the daugher of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, worked for the FIA’s Action for Road Safety project and had written an autobiography “Life is a Gift”.

F1 Fanatic extends its sincere sympathies to her family.

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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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68 comments on “Maria de Villota found dead in hotel in Spain”

  1. Very sad news.

    RIP María.

  2. Awful. Just awful. :( RIP, Maria. Thoughts go out to her family and the Marussia team.

  3. So sad. RIP Maria.

  4. That is really sad to hear, my thoughts are with the family in these hard times..

  5. RIP Maria :-(

  6. So Sad to hear this. RIP Maria,

  7. wow, that’s a real shock – extremely sad, RIP Maria.

  8. Such sad news, my condolences to the family. It’s always tragic for one in the Formula 1 community to go. There had better be a minute silence before the Japanese Grand Prix to respect Maria. It is so tragic considering how her dreams were cut short. RIP

  9. sad indeed :(

  10. Steph (@stephanief1990)
    11th October 2013, 8:12

    This is absolutely awful. My thoughts are with her family and friends through this time. It’s a tragedy. I had so much respect for Maria, she made her way in a world which is exclusively male (sports are one of the worst areas in society for gender equality, and motor sport is one of the worst sports for that) and the fact she managed to have a career racing is an incredible testament to her talents and character. The way she handled her accident and her injuries from that was beautiful and inspiring too. Not many would have achieved what she has since. This is a real shock and a big loss for the racing world.

    1. Well said @steph.

      RIP Maria de Villota

    2. +1 Tragic and very sad.

    3. Hear, hear.

    4. Very well said. It’s a terrible tragedy.

  11. Farewell Maria! You’ll be missed. Shocking news. Ours prayers go out to her family and friends. :-(

  12. RIP Maria. The news is such a shock. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

  13. This is so horrible. I’m very saddened. I met her in person and she was a gorgeous and intelligent lady who was out there to achieve the impossible. RIP Maria.

  14. Very sad news.

    Rest In Peace Maria.

  15. Very very sad news this morning, so sorry for her family.

  16. So sad, RIP Maria.

  17. joschenrindt78
    11th October 2013, 8:41

    RIP Maria, what a tragic loss…

  18. Totally unexpected, sad and depressive. No words can make this situation any better.

  19. Let us never forget how she lived and what she was fighting for. We should continue to make F1 and other racing series safer. We should ensure that everyone has exactly the same opportunities in motorsports, regardless of gender.

    Maria said that F1 is about doing things in the very best way. Let us always keep that in mind.

    Rest in peace Maria. You will never be forgotten.

    1. Well said. Totally agree. R.I.P. Maria.

    2. Steph (@stephanief1990)
      11th October 2013, 9:20

      Couldn’t agree more @girts . Well said.

  20. Heard this on the radio on my into work, I’m very shocked and saddened by the news.

    My thoughts are with her family and friends.

  21. That’s terrible.

  22. This is desperately hard news! Rest in Peace, María. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

  23. Very shocked to read this, it is very sad news indeed. RIP.

  24. This is very shocking and I really would like to know why. She was young still and seemed to be moving forward.

  25. The Blade Runner (@)
    11th October 2013, 9:13

    Very sad indeed. Especially so after such an amazing recovery from a quite horrendous accident.

    Gone but never forgotten.

  26. Shocking news, it’s sad to see someone so young die.

  27. That’s horrible news. I feel so awful for the de Villota family.

    The one thing I will always remember about Maria isn’t the fact that was a test driver, but that she had such a wonderful nature about herself – always appearing bright and cheery whenever she was interviewed or on camera. Even after suffering a severe personal tragedy in her accident last year, the way she bounced back and just seemed to take it all in her stride was of testament to her strong character and I have nothing but respect for her for that.

    A great loss for the entire motorsport community.

  28. This is appalling news. She had tremendous stregth of spirit. What on earth could have hapened?
    My sincere sympathy to all her family, friends and colleagues.

  29. RIP, a strong woman with a kind heart taken too soon. Thoughts go out to her family and friends.

  30. Sorry to hear the news. Very sad and especially in light of all she has been through in the last year. RIP Maria x

  31. RIP María de Villota.
    You´ll never be forgotten.

  32. Oh my! Very sad by this news. Rest in peace and condolences to her family and friends.

  33. At least she did what she wanted in life.

  34. Such a huge shock.. RIP Maria

  35. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it this morning on the radio that someone so sympathetic, strong and courageous has left us.
    Thanks for working on the roads safety.

  36. sad, very sad


  37. R……….I………..P :(

  38. Tragic news. My condolences to Maria’s family, and may Maria herself rest in peace.

  39. RIP Maria De Villota

  40. What ? shocking ! RIP . How old was she ?

    1. @Hamilfan – Only 33 :(

  41. This is so sad to wake up to. I am shocked to say the least and I feel a great emptyness right now. This just makes you realize how short life is. If anything, Maria was an inspiration to anybody to move forward in adversity. She will be missed and send out my deepest sympathy and condolences to her family.
    It´s sad how good people get taken away and some others stay behind for a while…. it sucks but that´s life I guess. This is just too sad for me right now.

  42. I really didn’t expect this, it’s really sad, especially at such a young age. My condolences to her family…

  43. Very sad news, I thought she was doing rather fine and enjoying her life. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

  44. Desperately sad news. First heard about it when they reported it on Sky this morning during the FP2 show, and everyone was very visibly choked up about it. After everything that happened, and all she overcame, it’s dreadful that her inspiring story would come to such a premature end.

    The saddest thing is seeing all the ghoulish speculation from people commenting on the various news reports. Very unpleasant and disrespectful behaviour.

  45. Very sad news that I would never have expected, May you rest in peace Maria.

  46. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    11th October 2013, 13:52

    If the reported heart attack has to do with the surgery mentioned above, I hope teams and FIA in general keep always improving safety and don’t take things for granted. Saddest F1 news in a long time. RIP Maria

    1. Possibly the darkest day of f1 since Senna died.

      Very sad :-(

  47. David not Coulthard (@)
    11th October 2013, 13:56

    Jaw dropping – in a bad way.

    May she rest in peace.

  48. Very Sad news. RIP…

  49. Very sad news. RIP Maria

  50. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    11th October 2013, 14:23

    RIP Maria – a sad day for motor racing. I hope F1 does something nice to commemorate her contribution to the sport.

  51. 33 is way, way too soon. Rest in peace, Maria.

  52. RIP Maria.. you’ll be missed …

  53. Very sad news… My thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

    RIP Maria

  54. This is just awful, poor Maria so young RIP

  55. RIP Maria. My sympathies with Maria’s family, friends and fans.

  56. Michael Brown (@)
    11th October 2013, 16:53

    That’s tragic to die at an age so young

  57. Very, very sad day. Sincere sympathies to her family.

  58. Certainly the saddest news F1 has seen in a while.

    @keithcollantine, I appreciate your respect and constraint in this article. would have been easy to latch onto the various forms of speculation out there in other articles simply for that sake of having more words to read, or the appearance of more information where there is none.

    1. Second that.

  59. Very sad day for motor sport… RIP Maria …

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