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Who are Maria de Villota and Carlos Sainz’s Mentor?

Who are Maria de Villota and Carlos Sainz’s Mentor?

Who are Maria de Villota and Carlos Sainz’s Mentor?

Who are Maria de Villota and Carlos Sainz’s Mentor?

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  • Carlos Sainz, a former Toro Rosso driver.
  •  Maria de Villota, a Spanish racer, began coaching Sainz at the Madrid Drivers’ School.
  • After a serious crash in 2012, she lost vision and suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at 33.
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Carlos Sainz features a distinctive star on his helmet since 2014, and it holds special meaning for him. In a recent Santander interview, he shared that the star represents his late mentor, Maria de Villota.

In the interview, Sainz talked about the unique features of his helmet, including his race number and the Spanish flag. He also discussed the impact Maria de Villota had on his racing career, “I have Maria Villota’s star with me. She was the first one that I got into a single-seater with. She teached me how to drive it.”

Maria de Villota, a Spanish racer and mentor to Carlos Sainz, began coaching him at the Madrid Drivers’ School, founded by her father. Tragically, she had an accident during a straight-line test for the Marussia team in 2012.

After surviving a serious crash in 2012, she lost vision in her right eye and later suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at 33. Carlos Sainz, carrying the star on his helmet, honors her memory since then. De Villota, notable in Spanish and European karting and junior racing series, also tested in F1 during the early 2010s, alongside Susie Wolff.

After her passing, a foundation named Legado Maria De Villota was established. Sainz became its ambassador in 2016 and expressed strong emotions about the role.

Carlos Sainz became the ambassador for Legado Maria De Villota and emotionally spoke about his late mentor during a ceremony. The ex-Toro Rosso driver got teary-eyed while recalling Maria’s impact on his career.

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Sainz displayed his Toro Rosso helmet at the time, featuring a star dedicated to Villota. He emphasized her influence on his early days in single-seater driving, describing it as a crucial foundation.

“I think I did 10-20 laps behind Maria, I keep them like gold in my mind. I have had a tremendous relationship with her ever since.”

“I made the personal decision to wear Maria’s star on my helmet since 2014. It’s not carrying the legacy but I do carry my personal Maria De Villota inside the helmet”, stated Sainz with tears in his eyes.

Maria de Villota, with her extensive experience in European formula racing, gained credibility as a female racer, becoming a symbol for women in motorsport.

Her test drive for Renault in 2011 and subsequent role as a full-time test driver for Marussia in 2012 were crucial steps in inspiring young women in racing. Although her legacy didn’t extend as much as Susie Wolff’s, Carlos Sainz highly values her significant contribution.

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