De Villota racing in DTM. In an R8. Something most men will only see and not drive. Not sorry. (photo credit: Flickr/Jose A. Herran)
After testing with Lotus at the end of last year, and (probably through an agent) claiming to be that team’s test driver, Maria De Villota has appeared again…and this time she has a test driver position.
Sure, it’s the team that couldn’t pass all its crash tests, but it’s better than no women drivers. And if you want to call it a “Danica situation,” I would kindly like to direct you to a fist. While trying to find out more about this before Marussia really announced it, I found a lovely condescending article on Bleacher Report (obviously) calling her test with Lotus a “publicity stunt.” Well publicity stunt this, suckers.
De Villota is the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio De Villota, and taking in her father’s footsteps, she has been racing in various open cockpit racing series throughout the years with a target of Formula 1.
Marussia apparently were more impressed with her test than Lotus, though there is no guarantee she will drive the car at all. In the statement, Marussia simply refers to it as a “chance” to drive the car, presumably at the Abu Dhabi Young Drivers Test far later in the year.
It’s entirely possible though that this opens up opportunities for De Villota to race in a feeder series to Formula 1, and I hope that is definitely the case.
While the chances of De Villota probably ever driving in a race are low, it’s still awesome to see a woman named a test driver in a sport that’s dominated by men. Congratulations, Maria!