(Sporting Alert) — Ex-Formula One test driver Maria de Villota has been found dead in a hotel room in Seville on Friday, a tragic news that stunned the racing fraternity.

She was 33-years-old.

Spanish police said de Villota, who 15 months ago was involved in a serious crash during testing for the Marussia F1 team in England, which resulted in her losing her right eye, appears to have died of natural causes.

A statement from her family said on Facebook: “Dear friends: Maria is gone. She had to go to heaven with all of the angels.

“Give thanks to God for the year-and-a-half we had left together.”

The news have cast a shadow over this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Following the breaking of the very sad news, the Marussia F1 Team made the following statement.

“It is with great sadness that we learned a short time ago of the news that Maria de Villota has passed away,” a statement read on their website.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Maria’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

De Villota was the daughter of Emilio de Villota, who drove in F1 from 1976-82.


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