Female F1 driver's family touched by support
July 6, 2012 -- Updated 1241 GMT (2041 HKT)
Maria de Villota joined the Marussia Formula One team as a test driver in March.
- Maria de Villota remains in a critical but stable condition in a British hospital
- The Marussia driver was involved in a crash at a test on Tuesday
- The Spaniard lost her right eye after colliding with a stationary truck
- De Villota is one of two female drivers currently involved in Formula One
(CNN) -- Maria de Villota's family have expressed their thanks for the public support they have received after the Marussia driver lost her right eye following a Formula One crash.
The Spaniard, one of only two female drivers contracted to an F1 team, sustained serious head and face injuries when her car collided with a stationary truck during a test event on Tuesday.
De Villota underwent surgery at a British hospital following the incident, but it was too late to save the 32-year-old's eye.
"Last dinosaur" or F1's brainiest man?
Former Formula One test driver Maria de Villota passed away aged 33. "It is presumed to be death by natural causes," a National Police spokeswoman said Friday.
F1 family: The De Villotas
Female F1 driver De Villota in profile
"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," her sister Isabel said in a statement released by the Russian-owned team.
"We remain positive and this is due, in no small part, to the overwhelming expression of love and support for Maria from every corner of the world.
"We would also wish to thank everyone at the Marussia F1 Team for all the care and attention they have shown us over the past few days."
Tuesday was the first time De Villota had been behind the wheel of Marussia's MR01 car, although she did conduct a test for the Renault team last year.
"Maria remains in a critical but stable condition," added De Villota's sister.
"While there is no further news than that at present, we have at least been able to take encouragement from the fact that Maria has remained stable throughout since the accident, particularly during the first night following such a lengthy surgical procedure as she experienced."
The De Villota family has a rich motorsport heritage. Maria's father Emilio was a Formula One driver between 1976 and 1982.
The only other female driver currently involved in the elite division of motorsport is Susie Wolff, who is a development driver with Williams.
Part of complete coverage on
Relive the Formula One season as it progressed, circuit by circuit, race by race.
CNN's Amanda Davies travels to a small German town to discover the real Sebastian Vettel, F1's all-conquering champion.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
November 28, 2013 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Red Bull's four time world champion Sebastian Vettel lifts the lid on life out in front of the pack.
November 17, 2013 -- Updated 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)
It is 5 a.m. on Sunday morning in Austin, Texas and the grid girls are already up and getting ready for the race.
November 12, 2013 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
There are books -- and then there are books. This one has been six years in the making and it doesn't come cheap.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wyatt explores the popularity of F1 in India and what the future might hold.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
How would you feel if your boss asked you to lose weight so you could carry on doing your job? That is the reality facing Formula One drivers.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
Kimi Raikkonen has long been box office gold, even before he re-signed with Ferrari for 2014, says CNN's Sarah Holt.
September 6, 2013 -- Updated 1627 GMT (0027 HKT)
Monza may be a long way from his birthplace in West Lothian, Scotland but Italy is unquestionably a home from home for Paul di Resta.
September 2, 2013 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
McLaren follow founder Bruce McLaren's mantra by measuring life in "achievement not in years alone."
September 2, 2013 -- Updated 2145 GMT (0545 HKT)
Australian Daniel Ricciardo will join Sebastian Vettel at all-conquering Red Bull for the 2014 season, the F1 team confirms.
August 25, 2013 -- Updated 1624 GMT (0024 HKT)
Activists protesting against Arctic oil drilling infiltrate an F1 race in Belgium, but the off-track incident does not stop Sebastian Vettel's title march.
August 9, 2013 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
Christina MacFarlane explores the role aerodynamics play in boosting a Formula One car's performance.
Today's five most popular stories