Maria de Villota has signed on to Marussia's test driver line-up

Aspiring Grand Prix racer María de Villota has been signed on to Marussia F1’s test driver line-up, moving her one step closer to becoming the first woman to race in Formula 1 since Giovanna Amati’s failed venture with Brabham in 1992.

De Villota has her first F1 outing last year when she tested Renault’s R29 chassis at Paul Ricard, becoming the first female driver to pilot a Formula 1 car since Katherine Legge drove for Minardi at its last-ever test session in 2005.

Marussia has confirmed that the Spanish driver will run at the ‘Young Drivers’ test at Abu Dhabi later this year.

The daughter of occasional (and not very successful) F1 racer Emilio de Villota, Maria has raced in a variety of championship categories with moderate success, including Formula 3, the Daytona 24 Hours and the SuperLeague Formula.

“I am very happy to be joining the Marussia F1 Team test driver programme,” she is quoted saying in a media release on the team’s website.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with a Formula 1 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 1 racing.”

“We are pleased to welcome Maria to our test driver programme, which will enable her to be integrated into a Formula 1 team environment and gain a vast amount of experience that will be useful to her career progression,” added Marussia team principal John Booth.

“We will also provide Maria with the opportunity to sample F1 machinery later in the year, further adding to her racing credentials.”

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.