UK & World News
De Villota Death 'Directly Linked To Crash'
The family of Spanish test driver Maria de Villota have claimed her death on Friday was a direct result of her crash at Duxford Aerodrome in Cambridge last year.
A statement issued by the family read: "Maria left us while she was sleeping, approximately at 6am (on Friday), as a consequence of the neurological injuries she suffered in July of 2012, according to what the forensic doctor has told us.
"Maria is gone, but she has left a very clear message of joy and hope which is helping the family move on in these moments."
Dr Joaquin Lucena Romero, the head of forensic services at Spain's Institute for Legal Medicine, has declared de Villota's death was "due to natural causes" following a post-mortem.
But Britain's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) say they are still investigating potential links between the accident 15 months ago and her death last week.
An HSE spokeswoman stated the organisation "would expect to be kept informed of any new evidence".
The accident occurred after 33-year-old de Villota had been test-driving an MR-01 race car for Marussia, the English-Russian Formula One team based in Oxfordshire.
After driving the vehicle at speeds of 200mph she pulled off the track and accidentally hit a stationary vehicle at low speed.
The accident left her in a critical condition and caused the loss of her right eye, though she made a remarkable recovery after just a month in hospital. Marussia were cleared of liability relating to the car
The Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) have announced they will hold a minute of silence at Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.
A statement released by the GPDA read: "All F1 drivers of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association are very saddened to hear of the tragic death of our former member Maria de Villota.
"She has been an active member and contributed to driver safety in a very enthusiastic and most professional manner.
"Her positive attitude, maturity and extreme commitment will never be forgotten and are something we have learned from. Maria will be missed and always remembered by all of us."