Marussia claim car not to blame for De Villota accident
16 July, 2012
Jul.16 (Reuters) An internal investigation of the crash that seriously injured Spanish test driver Maria De Villota at Duxford airfield in eastern England has found that the “car was not to blame”, Marussia Formula One team principal John Booth said on Monday.
De Villota, who is now out of sedation and talking to her family, had just completed a straight-line aerodynamic test and was returning to mechanics when her car accelerated abruptly and slammed into a team truck at helmet level on July 3.
As a result of the accident the 32-year-old lost her right eye during emergency surgery.
A two-week investigation followed, including an external forensic investigation, and the findings satisfied Marussia team officials that a fault with the car was not the cause of the accident.
Details of the findings have now been passed on to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive who act on behalf of the public, for work-related accidents.
“We have shared and discussed our findings with the HSE for their consideration as part of their ongoing investigation.
“This has been a necessarily thorough process in order to understand the cause of the accident.
“We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria’s wellbeing. In that regard, we continue to support Maria and the De Villota family in any way we can.”
De Villota, whose father Emilio previously raced Formula One cars, was making her testing debut for the team.
The Duxford Testing Accident – Marussia F1 Team concludes its own investigations
Marussia Technical Centre, Banbury, UK
16 July 2012, 11.00 BST
14 days after Maria De Villota’s accident at Duxford Airfield, the Marussia F1 Team has now completed its own detailed investigation into the cause of the crash.
The accident occurred on 3 July during a straight-line test, at which Maria was making her testing debut for the Team and driving an F1 car for the fourth time in her career.
The Marussia F1 Team conducted an initial analysis immediately after the crash. This aimed to identify the causes and contributory factors behind the accident and also served to determine if there were any car-related implications for the impending British Grand Prix. Having carefully examined all the data and supplementary information available at that time, the Team were satisfied that there were no such car-related issues and cleared its chassis for race weekend participation.
Following its initial investigation, the Team proceeded to carry out further detailed analysis of the accident. An external forensic investigation was commissioned and carried out at Duxford Airfield (a FIA-approved and much used testing venue, compliant with the recommendations for a test of this nature) and with the team at the Marussia Technical Centre in Banbury. This external analysis has been carried out autonomously of the team’s own internal investigation.
As would be normal procedure, the Team’s findings have been shared with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the independent UK regulator which acts in the public interest in respect of work-related accidents.
John Booth, Team Principal of the Marussia F1 Team, commented: “We are satisfied that the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident. We have shared and discussed our findings with the HSE for their consideration as part of their ongoing investigation. This has been a necessarily thorough process in order to understand the cause of the accident. We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria’s wellbeing. In that regard, we continue to support Maria and the De Villota family in any way we can.”
Subbed by AJN.