The daughter of ex-F1 driver Emilio de Villota, Maria competed in a variety of motor sports following her 2001 debut in Spanish Formula Toyota, although she did not win a race after her first season racing.
Despite this, in 2010 she signed a deal to become a Marussia test driver, which included an outing in the 2012 car at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi, and Marussia took a decision to increase her profile.
However, in her first test drive for the team at Duxford Aerodrome she crashed into a parked truck and sustained serious head injuries. She lost the sight in one eye, ending her racing career.
Maria de Villota death linked to testing crash injuries (October 12, 2013)
F1 paddock pays tribute to de Villota (October 11, 2013)
Maria de Villota found dead in Spain (October 11, 2013)
De Villota to return to F1 paddock (May 7, 2013)
- Fittipaldi named president of new Drivers' Commission (March 9, 2013)