F1 crash driver Maria de Villota's condition improving

Maria de Villota
Image caption Maria de Villota joined Marussia as a test driver earlier this year

F1 test driver Maria de Villota, who suffered head injuries and lost an eye in a crash on Tuesday, is improving after surgery and responding well to treatment, her team has said.

De Villota, 32, lost her right eye after extensive surgery following a crash in testing for Marussia at the Cambridgeshire track.

She was in a critical condition but is now described as serious but stable.

She has undergone successful surgery at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

A statement issued by the Marussia Technical Centre, in Banbury, said: "Since the operation today (Friday), Maria's condition in relation to the head trauma she received has further improved, to the extent that she is now 'serious but stable'.

"Whilst Maria remains acutely ill, this confirms that she has been responding well to the treatment she has received since her accident."

'Remain positive'

Ms De Villota was hurt when the MR-01 race car she was driving hit a support truck.

She had been driving at up to 200mph but the car was travelling considerably slower at the time of the crash.

It was the first time the Spaniard had driven the car for the Oxfordshire-based Marussia team.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Isabel De Villota, Maria's sister, said earlier: "We, the family, are supporting each other here at Maria's side and we take great comfort from the remarkable medical care she has been receiving.

"We remain positive and this is due, in no small part, to the overwhelming expression of love for Maria from every corner of the world."

Messages of support for De Villota have come in from the motor racing world, including Ferrari driver and fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso and top British racers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the test track on Wednesday.

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