MARCH 8, 2012
Maria De Villota joins Marussia test programme
Spaniard Maria De Villota, daughter of former F1 driver Emilio, is to test for Marussia.
Maria tested a Lotus Renault at Paul Ricard last August and 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.
Maria has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps to the highest level of motorsport and said: "I'm very happy to be joining the Marussia test driver programme. This is a fantastic opportunity to 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 F1."
The last woman to have a serious attempt at F1 was Italian Giovanna Amati in the early nineties with Brabham, although her task was made even harder by an uncompetitive chassis that made tailenders of Eric van de Poele and Damon Hill.