Maria de Villota remains in critical but stable condition two days after her dramatic accident at Britain's Duxford airfield, her family said on Thursday.
In a statement issued by the Marussia Formula 1 team in behalf of her sister Isabel, the family said it took some encouragement from the fact that de Villota remained stable after Wednesday's surgery. De Villota lost her right eye in the accident and had to undergo extensive surgery at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.
"Maria remains in a critical but stable condition here at Addenbrooke's Hospital," Isabel de Villota wrote in the statement. "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 yesterday.
"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. 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."
De Villota's situation has touched a number of drivers in the paddock, and Felipe Massa – who himself faced a long recovery from a head injury – said he hoped the FIA would get involved in seeing if lessons can be learned from what happened.
"She has 100 percent of my support because I was in a similar condition," said the Brazilian at Silverstone on Thursday. "Thank God nothing happened to me, but we saw that a hard thing has happened to her and she may have lost one of her eyes. This is for sure a very big thing.
"I hope everything will be OK for her to live her life in the best way she deserves. Actually it is very difficult to say what has happened. The only thing I know is that she was driving at an airfield, and she had a problem with a truck, and it is not normal in F1 to have this kind of accident.
"In my case I had something flying on the track and it hit me, but it was from another car, it is a completely different thing. We need to understand what has happened, that is the most important thing – and the FIA needs to understand as well to put all the tests and everything in place, and all the conditions for the maximum safety that we need to have."