Madrid, Oct 11 – The crash that cost Formula 1 team Marussia test driver Maria de Villota her right eye has changed her attitude to life, reveals the Spaniard.
The accident occurred during testing at Duxford airfield in Britain in July when de Villota’s car collided with a team support truck. The 32-year-old driver was left with severe head and facial injuries, with doctors unable to save her eye.
De Villota said that accident had prompted a broader outlook on life.
“Now I have only one eye, maybe I perceive more things than before and now I see you have to stop and measure things in a different way,” de Villota said Wednesday.
“Now it’s not about the tenths on the clock but about little moments.”
De Villota said she was still weighing up getting behind the wheel again – of any car.
“I still don’t know. It’s about the license. There are drivers in the United States who have lost an eye and still have a license.”
She admitted to being shocked at the first glance in the mirror after multiple surgeries.
“The first day I looked at myself in the mirror, I had 140 black stitches on my face, and they looked like they had been stitched with rope,” she said.
“I had lost my right eye. I was terrified,” said de Villota, who uses a black eye patch.
She also described other physical consequences of the crash that she fears might dog her for years.
“I have headaches that they don’t know how long will last – maybe years. I have also lost [some] smell, and taste, which is linked to smell.”
De Villota’s father Emilio competed in three Formula 1 races in the 1970s while she has competed in series such as Formula Palmer Audi and Spanish Formula Three, which have traditionally served as routes to Formula 1 for young drivers.
Maria tested a Renault Formula 1 car at the Paul Ricard circuit in France last year.