Last month the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) announced they would not be prosecuting Marussia or any of its personnel following their investigation into Maria de Villota’s crash during a test at Duxford Airfield.
Whilst Maria recovered from the initial surgery, she apparently died as a result of the neurological injuries she suffered in the crash.
Under the freedom of information act, the BBC have pressed to have the HSE report disclosed. It reveals Maria had not been given proper instructions on how to slow and stop the car.
Having performed two straight line speed tests, de Voillota was returning to a temporary pit lane and the front wheels of the car locked under braking.
The BBC report, “because the gears were engaged and the car was fitted with engine idle control, designed to maintain revs at about 4,100 rpm to avoid damage, it was essentially ‘fighting’ De Villota and she was ‘pushed’ along the runway into the lorry, the report said.
De Villota pressed a button to unlock the clutch and disengage the gears before the crash, but nothing happened. A gear change from second to first was also rejected by the engine idle control, the documents added.
She had previously told engineers she could not operate the clutch when the steering wheel was at full-lock, which it was at the time of the crash”.
De VIlotta collided with the tailgate of a truck that had been left at head height – causing her tragic injuries.
Marussia said that in terms of car control, they were “relying on the skill and experience of the driver” who had driven F1 cars for Lotus Renault at circuits in both Spain and France.