| SILVERSTONE, England, July 5
SILVERSTONE, England, July 5 Formula One must
analyse the safety implications of the freak testing accident
that left Spanish racer Maria De Villota critically injured this
week, drivers said on Thursday.
The daughter of former F1 driver Emilio De Villota lost her
right eye after her car suddenly accelerated into the lowered
tailgate of a parked team truck at Duxford airfield in eastern
England on Tuesday.
She remains in hospital, with her condition described as
critical but stable, after lengthy surgery on facial and head
An official test driver for the Marussia team, it had been
her first time in the car and she was taking part in a private
straight-line aerodynamic test ahead of this weekend's British
Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Straight line tests are often carried out on airfield
runways, approved by the governing FIA and with a medical team
in attendance, by relatively inexperienced drivers who only have
to turn the car at the end of each run rather than negotiate a
"We will put the facts on the table to see if there is
anything we need to change to improve," said veteran HRT driver
Pedro de la Rosa, a compatriot of De Villota's and chairman of
the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA).
"When an accident happens, it means that something didn't
"We need to make sure between the FIA, the teams and the
GPDA that we make changes for the future because it's not good
Ferrari's Brazilian Felip Massa, who suffered
life-threatening head injuries when he was hit on the helmet by
a bouncing spring at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, agreed there
needed to be an investigation.
"She has 100 percent of my support. I suffered similar
injuries, and thank God nothing happened to me," he told
"The most important thing is to understand what happened.
The FIA need to understand as well, to put everything in place
for maximum safety that we need to have."
The accident shocked the Formula One community, with
messages of support pouring in from well-wishers to De Villota,
her family and team.
Compatriot Fernando Alonso, who leads the Formula One
championship for Ferrari, said the news had been hard to come to
"Obviously we are very worried for this situation because we
are still waiting for some more news," he said.
"We don't know all the information so it's difficult to talk
about the reasons etc until we know the official version but at
the moment, it's so difficult to imagine how this can happen."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by John Mehaffey)