De Villota relives life-threatening accident

Marussia F1 Team

10 October 2012 by Ryan Wood

Maria de Villota has spoken of her accident and how she has lost her sense of smell, taste and suffers from headaches.

The 32-year-old was testing for Marussia when she struck the rear of a transporter lorry earlier this year. She lost her right-eye due to the severe injuries.

Speaking in her first interview since the crash, De Villota described the moment immediately after.

"I remember everything - even the moment of the impact," she told Spains' Hola magazine.

"When I woke up everybody was around me and they didn't even know if I was going to speak, or how I was going to speak. I started speaking in English because I thought I was on an FIA check-up and that the nurse was a trainer.

"Then my dad said 'Please, Maria, speak Spanish, because your mother is missing half the things', and then I became aware of everything: of what had happened, where I was and why."

The Spaniard says she now has a new perspective on life.

"The accident has given me a new perspective about life, about the things that matter," she added. "It has taught me that to achieve what you want you have to educate yourself in sacrifice through effort.

"Now I have just one eye maybe I perceive more things than before. Before this, my life was a race against the clock, and now I see you have to stop and measure things in a different way."

Further surgery is required to her eye and the side-effects of the brain injury have seen her lose her sense of smell and taste, but she believes the worst is now over.

"In the beginning they were covering it [the eye] so I couldn't see it. The first day I looked at myself in the mirror I had 140 black stitches on my face, and they looked like they had been stitched with a boat rope, and I had lost my right eye. I was terrified.

"I have to undergo more surgery soon, but the worst is now behind.

"I have headaches that they don't know how long will last - maybe years," she added. "I have to control my efforts a lot because of the cranial pressure. I have also lost smell, and taste, which is linked to smell. Now I like things with a very strong taste."