So sad. Maria de Villota, the first woman to qualify in a Formula One race, was found dead in Seville, Spain on Oct. 11 — she was 33. The Formula One family is mourning their big loss and saying goodbye to a huge racing star.
Maria de Villota was found dead on Oct. 11 in a Seville hotel. She was a star in the Formula One racing world after she became the first female to compete in the male-dominated sport.
Maria de Villota Dies From Natural Causes
Calling Maria a trooper is an understatement. Just a year ago she made her first public appearance after suffering a near-fatal car crash — a crash so severe she lost her right eye. Since then, Maria revealed that she had lost both her sense of taste and smell along with suffering frequent headaches. But despite the crash, Maria told the Spanish press she was still open to racing again, according to USA Today.
Sadly, Maria will never get the chance to compete again. She was found dead in a hotel room on Oct. 11. Upon the discovery, it was speculated the Spanish F1 driver died of natural causes. An autopsy later confirmed suspicions — she died after going into cardiac arrest. Complications from her 2012 accident are believed to be at fault.
Maria’s family broke the sad news on Facebook telling fans, “Dear friends: Maria has left us. She had to go to heaven like all angels. I give thanks to God for the year and a half that he left her with us.” The family had no further comment.
Maria is survived by her father, former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, her mother, brother and husband of three months, Rodrigo Garcia Millan — they had no children together.
Maria leaves a tremendous legacy behind as an inspiration for the women in all sports. She will be missed, and our thoughts go out to her friends and family during this difficult time.
— Danielle Noriega