Marussia F1 team appoint female test driver
Spaniard Maria de Villota was named as a test driver for the Marussia Formula One team on Wednesday, becoming the only woman in such a role at any of the current teams.
The daughter of former F1 driver Emilio De Villota, who started two races in 1977 without scoring a point, has raced in various series and had tried out a Renault F1 car at Le Castellet in the south of France last August.
Russian-licensed Marussia's new MR01 car has run only for limited-mileage promotional purposes before next week's Australian season-opener due to problems in passing the mandatory crash tests.
The team said De Villota would have a chance to drive it later in the year. The next scheduled test will be at Mugello in Italy during the August break but the Spaniard expected to have to wait until Abu Dhabi at the tail-end of the season.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with a Formula One team and gain important experience to help me progress in my career," said the 32-year-old.
"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," she added.
Marussia's regular drivers are experienced German Timo Glock and French rookie Charles Pic, who needs as much mileage as he can get.
Formula One has had women drivers in the past, although none has scored a point since the championship started in 1950.
The most successful was Italian Lella Lombardi who finished sixth in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix but was awarded only half a point because the race was halted after just 29 laps due to an accident that killed five spectators. programme at his residence, said there is no similar festival like this when people of all strata of society join together and share the fun.