Wednesday 7 March 2012, 16.00 GMT
Spaniard Maria De Villota has become a Marussia F1 Team test driver.
Maria has raced in a variety of single-seater and sports car categories, including Spanish F3, the Daytona 24 Hours, the Euroseries 3000 and Superleague Formula Championship.
Maria has also experienced a Formula One cockpit previously, having received a test drive courtesy of the team formerly known as Lotus Renault F1 Team at Paul Ricard in August of last year, where she achieved 300kms of running.
As the daughter of former F1 driver and British Formula One Series Champion Emilio de Villota, Maria has always dreamed of following in his footsteps to reach the highest level of motorsport. Her integration into the Marussia F1 Team means she will have the opportunity to work with racing drivers operating at the pinnacle of the sport and, later in the year, the chance to drive the MR01.
John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team, commented:
“We are pleased to welcome Maria to our test driver programme, which will enable her to be integrated into a Formula One team environment and gain a vast amount of experience that will be useful to her career progression. We will also provide Maria with the opportunity to sample F1 machinery later in the year, further adding to her racing credentials.”
Maria De Villota commented:
“I am very happy to be joining the Marussia F1 Team test driver programme. This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with a Formula One team and gain important experience to help me progress my career, including the chance to drive the new car later in the year at the Abu Dhabi test. I will be joining the team trackside so I’m looking forward to working alongside them at the first race next weekend and this can only help my future ambition to step up to Formula One racing.”