Jun.4 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Maria de Villota has revealed the terrifying extent of the damage to her carbon fibre helmet that saved her life during an horror Marussia test crash last year.
The 33-year-old Spaniard suffered serious skull, brain and facial injuries last July when she inexplicably lost control of the F1 car whilst straightline aerodynamic testing at Duxford airfield (UK).
Her head, now visibly scarred, struck the loading ramp of a truck, and today she wears an eye-patch to cover her right eye, which was irreparably damaged in the crash.
At a road-safety and spinal injury event in Madrid this week, de Villota revealed the $4,000 carbon-fibre Bell helmet she was wearing in the crash, which was cracked almost in half from underneath the visor to the rear-mountings for the HANS safety device.
A photo, published by Spanish newspaper El Pais, can be seen at: http://ep00.epimg.net/ccaa/imagenes/2013/06/03/madrid/1370262692_794575_1370262903_noticia_grande.jpg
“Until now only my family and friends have seen it (the helmet),” de Villota is quoted as saying, “but I think it’s also important for others to see it as well.”
Referring to the extent of the damage to the expensive, specialised F1 helmet, she added: “If this is what we have in formula one, imagine what would have happened if I had not been wearing anything.”