Marussia have today announced that Spaniard Maria de Villota as their test driver.
The 32-year-old, who is daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, will work with drivers Timo Glock and Charles Pic, although she is not expected to get a chance to drive the MR01 in any Friday practice sessions.
Maria has raced in Spanish F3, the Daytona 24 Hours, the Euroseries 3000, and the Superleague Formula Championship. She has also had experience of a Formula 1 car after testing for Renault at the Paul Ricard circuit last August.
“I am very happy to be joining the Marussia F1 Team test driver programme,” she said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with a Formula One 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 One racing.”
Marussia Team Principal John Booth welcomed Maria to the team: “We are pleased to welcome Maria to our test driver programme, which will enable her to be integrated into a Formula One team environment and gain a vast amount of experience that will be useful to her career progression. We will also provide Maria with the opportunity to sample F1 machinery later in the year, further adding to her racing credentials.”