F1 test driver de Villota has surgery

Nov. 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

MADRID, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Formula One race car test driver Maria de Villota underwent a seven-hour operation to rebuild her face and skull in Madrid following a severe crash in July.

Doctors at Madrid's La Paz University Hospital called Thursday's operation a success.

De Villota, 32, the daughter of former Formula 1 driver Emilio de Villota, crashed her car at the Duxford, England, test track in her first drive after beginning work for Team Marussia, based in Banbury, England, and sustained serious head injuries and the loss of her right eye, the website ThinkSpain reported.

Her father said Maria still has "that vital strength they [the racing team] are now used to," and noted she escaped brain damage.

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