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Motorsport | Formula 1

Maria De Villota © Gallo Images

De Villota has more eye surgery



Spanish Formula One driver Maria De Villota has had further surgery to rebuild her face after she lost an eye in a high-speed crash, her family said on Wednesday.

De Villota, 32, lost her right eye when she crashed into a support vehicle during testing in England on July 3 and was operated on there before returning to Spain.

She had her latest, seven-hour operation on November 21 in her native Madrid, which her family confirmed a week later in a statement on Wednesday.

"Maria de Villota underwent a new surgical operation aimed at craneal and ocular reconstruction," it said.

"The aim was to avoid future dysfunction due to the injuries caused by her accident."

Doctors put new plates in her skull and were satisfied with her condition, it said. She will later need to have one more "less serious" operation.

De Villota, the daughter of former Formula One driver Emilio De Villota, was a rarity as a woman driver in the sport.

"She is still showing that vital strength that we are used to and is getting better every moment," her father said in the statement.

"We were able to talk to her while she was in intensive care and she was even able to follow the last race of the season," he added.

Maria De Villota was given a test drive by Renault last year and had previously raced in Spanish Formula Three and the Daytona 24 Hours.

She was driving for the Marussia team when she crashed at Duxford Airfield circuit in eastern England.

After undergoing lengthy surgery for serious head and facial injuries, she appeared at a news conference in October wearing an eyepatch.

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