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De Villota death a result of Marussia crash
Friday 11th October 2013, 23:07 by TF1T Staff
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Former-Formula 1 reserve driver Maria de Villota passed away from 'natural causes' associated to her Marussia testing crash a post-mortem examination has confirmed.
The 33-year-old, who recently underwent major life-saving surgery following an F1 testing crash last year, was found dead in her hotel room in Spain on Friday morning.
Dr Joaquin Lucena Romero, head of forensic services at the Institute for Legal Medicine, confirmed the cause of death following examination of De Villota's body.
"I can confirm that her death was due to natural causes. The family has been informed," she said.
In a statement, her family confirmed the links between her death and the 2012 testing crash which resulted in her losing her right eye and suffering major brain trauma.
"Maria left us while she was sleeping, approximately at 6am [local time], as a consequence of the neurological injuries that she suffered in July of 2012, according to what the forensic doctor has told us.
"Maria is gone, but she has left us a very clear message of joy and hope, which is helping the family move on in these moments."
Formula 1 team bosses and drivers expressed their shock, including Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
"Today is a very sad day for Spanish sport," said the Ferrari driver. "We have lost a fighter with a huge smile."
The McLaren driver added: "It's horrendous news. Very tragic, the girl has been through so much, more than most people go through in their lives. It has been tough for her but this is horrific news and a real shock to the whole paddock and the world of motorsport."
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