Formula One team Marussia hired Maria de Villota as a test driver for the season, providing the sport with a full-time female pilot for the first time since the 1990s.

The daughter of former Spanish F1 driver Emilio de Villota had tested with Renault last year and has single seater experience in Spanish F3 and the Daytona 24-Hours. The 32-year-old De Villota will likely get behind the wheel at a young drivers' testing session in Abu Dhabi at the end of the season.

"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," De Villota said. "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."

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