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Maria de Villota joins Marussia's test line-up 07 Mar 2012

TT Circuit Assen, The Netherlands. 15th - 16th May. Rd 2. Maria de Villota / Atletico de Madrid. Marussia MR01 launch, Silverstone, UK, March 5, 2012 Timo Glock (GER) Marussia Racing MVR-02.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 February 2012 Marussia MR01 launch, Silverstone, UK. March 5, 2012

Marussia have announced that Maria de Villota has joined their testing line-up. De Villota has raced in a variety of single-seater and sports car categories, including Spanish Formula Three, the Daytona 24 Hours, Euroseries 3000 and the Superleague Formula championship.

The Spaniard, daughter of ex-Formula One driver and British Formula One series champion Emilio de Villota, has already tested an F1 car, having completed 300km of running for Team Lotus (now Caterham) at Paul Ricard last August.

As well as working alongside Marussia racers Timo Glock and Charles Pic, De Villota will have the chance to drive the MR01 during the year.

“I am very happy to be joining the Marussia F1 Team test driver programme,” she said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with a Formula One team and gain important experience to help me progress my career, including the chance to drive the new car later in the year at the Abu Dhabi test. I will be joining the team trackside so I’m looking forward to working alongside them at the first race next weekend and this can only help my future ambition to step up to Formula One racing.”

Team principal John Booth added: “We are pleased to welcome Maria to our test driver programme, which will enable her to be integrated into a Formula One team environment and gain a vast amount of experience that will be useful to her career progression. We will also provide Maria with the opportunity to sample F1 machinery later in the year, further adding to her racing credentials.”

A number of women have already competed in Formula One racing including Italians Giovanna Amati, Maria Teresa de Filippis and Lella Lombardi, Briton Divina Galica and South African Desire Wilson. The best finish for a female driver was Lombardi’s sixth place at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.

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