Ferrari driver Felipe Massa offers support to Maria De Villota after Marussia test driver loses eye

 

Felipe Massa has drawn on his own accident hell in offering his support to Maria De Villota.

Marussia confirmed yesterday test driver De Villota had lost her right eye and was now in a "critical but stable" condition at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge following Tuesday's crash at Duxford Airfield.

De Villota required around 12 hours of surgery after the incident in which her car went into the tailgate of a support truck.

Massa can have sympathy with De Villota's plight as it was three years ago he was involved in his own accident which almost cost him his life.

In the Brazilian's case, a freak scenario saw a spring work loose from the car of compatriot Rubens Barrichello and strike him on the helmet in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Massa was knocked unconscious, resulting in him ploughing nose first into a barrier in his Ferrari.

Massa then underwent surgery around his left eye and required the insertion of a titanium plate to strengthen his skull.

Whilst Massa made a full recovery, 32-year-old Spaniard De Villota will never race again competitively given the loss of her eye.

But via his Twitter account and referring to his own experiences, Massa said: "My thoughts are for Maria and her family.

"I pray God to help her at this time. Don't give up Maria and think positive! As I did after my incident!!!!!"

Team-mate Fernando Alonso was one of the first drivers on Tuesday to offer his sympathy, and the double world champion did so again yesterday.

Alonso tweeted: "More support than ever to my colleague Maria De Villota. Want to give you all the energy in the world. We are close to you!"

Even tennis' world number two Rafael Nadal joined in the chorus of support as he said: "Maria I hope you recover soon, you must be strong and we hope to see you back as soon as possible."

The tweets were indicative of the sentiment being offered De Villota, her family and the team as a whole.

Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen attempted to look on the positive as the Finn said: "The main thing is she is alive.

"It was a freak accident, a terrible accident, but it could have been worse. It is difficult now, but we have to try to look for the positives.

"I am sure she will pull through and hopefully she gets the support, as I am sure she will, from the Formula One family.

"The Formula One world is quite sensitive and sensible in these incidents. Everybody is racing hard, but nobody wishes anything like that on people.

"I am sure she will be looked after and her family will be looked after.

"I am sure they have the best possible care, best possible tools for recovery and everyone is wishing her the best."

De Villota, who joined Marussia as a test driver in March, was taking part in her first test for the team, a straightline aero at the old Second World War site.

De Villota had just completed her initial installation run when the accident occurred, which has naturally resulted in the launch of an internal investigation as to the cause.

Team principal John Booth added: "We have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment."

For now, the over-riding concern within the team ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix will centre on De Villota.

Booth said: "Maria's care and the wellbeing of her family remain our priority at this time."

PA

Sport
Mourinho lost his temper as well as the match
sportLiverpool handed title boost as Sunderland smash manager’s 77-game home league run
Voices
Sweet tweet: Victoria Beckham’s selfie, taken on her 40th birthday on Thursday
voices... and her career-long attack on the absurd criteria by which we define our 'betters', by Ellen E Jones
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Voices
Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999
voicesThere's no truth to a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria
Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Life & Style
Lana Del Rey, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne each carry their signature bag
fashionMulberry's decision to go for the super-rich backfired dramatically
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit