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Maria de Villota, who lost her eye one year ago in a crash, was found dead at age 33 in a Seville, Spain hotel room.
The reserve Formula 1 driver lost her right eye in a crash with a van while testing for the Marussia team last year, BBC Sport reports. She also suffered severe head trauma from the accident, but has since been cleared to return to driving.
Unfortunately that won't happen, as she was discovered in a hotel in Spain. "We are assuming it was a natural death, but we cannot confirm anything," a police spokeswoman said. A forensics team had not yet gone over to the hotel room.
Villota's family released a statement saying, "Dear friends: Maria is gone. She had gone to heaven with all of the angels."
According to The Mirror, it is being reported that Villota died of a heart attack, but nothing has been confirmed.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said, "She was an inspiration, not just to women in this sport but also to all those who suffered life-threatening injuries."
Villota has been around racing all her life. Her father, Emilio de Villota, was a racer in the 1980s and drove in 15 World Championship Grands Prix. Emilio de Villota Jr., her younger brother, drives as well, recently appearing in the Euroseries 3000 and several other championship series.
image: Wikimedia Commons