Maria de Villota has been found dead in a hotel room in Seville. The Spaniard was 33.
A statement on her Facebook page, signed by her family, read: “Dear friends: Maria has left us.
“She had to go to heaven like all angels. We are thankful to God for the extra year and a half that he left her with us.”
De Villota suffered a life-threatening testing accident with the Marussia Formula 1 squad in July last year. She spent a month in hospital after crashing into an articulated trailer while carrying out a straightline test for Marussia at Duxford Aerodrome.
Although she lost her right eye, she was able to make a full recovery from her other injuries, which included significant skull damage
De Villota was a former World Touring Car Championship and Superleague Formula driver, and daughter of ex-F1 racer Emilio de Villota.