UPDATE: F1 crash driver ‘sustained life threatening injuries’ in Duxford smash

A FORMULA 1 driver has suffered “life threatening injuries” after her car was involved in a collision with a lorry during a testing day.

Maria De Villota, 32, has been taken to hospital with facial and head injuries following today’s (Tuesday) crash at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

She was testing Maurissa’s MR-01 car for the first time when she collided with a lorry tail lift at a slow speed and is said to be in a stable condition.

A team spokesman said: “At approximately 09.15hrs this morning, the Marussia F1 Team’s Test Driver Maria De Villota had an accident in the team’s MR-01 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.”

An ambulance, and MAGPAS - helicopter medics - attended the scene.

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Ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: “A woman has sustained life threatening injuries and following treatment at the scene by paramedics, she has been taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for further care.”

The service notified the police after the collision and Cambridgeshire Constabulary has notified the Health and Safety Executive to probe the incident.

Chris Mann from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire was an eyewitness to the crash.

The drive time presenter said: “The car just strangely just accelerated into the big truck that brought it there. There was a board down, like a loading board, and the car went careering into the side of that probably doing only 20 or 30mph.

He added: “From where I was standing it looked like the helmet took the brunt of the impact,”

“There was a terrible moment when everyone was just very shocked by the impact and the suddenness of what had happened.”

The crash happened on the first of two days of Formula 1 testing at Duxford.

A museum spokesman said: “The Imperial War Museum can confirm that an incident occurred during this morning’s F1 testing. Testing has been suspended whilst team personnel and the medical services asses the situation. The museum is open as normal.”