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Old 10-11-2013, 04:19 AM   #1261
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Maria de Villota: Former Formula 1 reserve driver found dead in Seville

Former Formula 1 reserve driver Maria de Villota has been found dead in a hotel room in Seville, Spain.

The Spaniard suffered serious head and facial injuries in an accident in July 2012 when testing for the Marussia team in Cambridgeshire.

However the 33-year-old was cleared to drive again in February.

De Villota, daughter of former Spanish F1 driver Emilio de Villota, had previously raced in Spanish Formula 3 and the Daytona 24 Hours.

F1 teams and drivers have expressed their shock at the news.

Caterham reserve Alexander Rossi, an occasional analyst for BBC Sport, said: "Absolutely stunned and heartbroken to hear Maria De Villota has passed away. My thoughts and prayers go out. We will never ever forget you."

Mercedes added: "Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Maria de Villota following the tragic news of her passing.

"Her courage, determination and hope were an example and inspiration to many. She will be sadly missed by our sport."
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