Former Formula 1 driver Maria de Villota was discovered dead in a hotel room in Seville. According to initial reports, Villota died from natural causes. Now, local media reports claim Villota's cause of death is a heart attack.

The former Marussia test driver was one of the few woman in motorsports to earn a place in Formula 1, regarded as the pinnacle of auto racing. Villota is the daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota. Maria began her F1 career as a Team Marussia tester and reserve driver in 2012. A terrifying freak accident occurred during straight-line testing at Duxford Aerodrome last year when Villota was returning to the pits. Maria de Villota struck a team truck and sustained serious head trauma that ultimately cost her right eye.

While the injury prematurely ended her career in racing, Maria de Villota remained active in the motorsport community and became a role model for women pursuing dreams in motor sport. Villota is also an outspoken advocator for road safety. Maria de Villota  was expected to visit Seville for the weekend and to hold a lecture to promote  her autobiography, "Life is a Gift," which hit the shelves Monday.

According to investigators, Maria de Villota's death is not consistent with a violent death or suicide. Authorities determined her death as natural with a possible link to injuries she suffered in her crash last year.

"Everything is pointing to Maria's death being the result of natural causes," said a spokesperson of Spain's National Police in Seville. "Officers found no suspicious substances or medicines in her room and there were no signs of violence either in the room or on her body. The post-mortem has yet to take place but there is nothing at this stage to indicate a violent death or suicide."

According to consultant neurosurgeon Stuart Ross, who treated Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond after his violent crash in a jet-powered dragster, Maria de Villota's death could have been caused by a seizure provoked by her head injury.

"The only obvious connection I can see between the injury and her death is that she could have developed seizures after her head injury and she happened to have a big seizure in the hotel room," said Ross. "After a knock on the head or any brain injury, there's a possibility of developing epilepsy. That could happen 14 months down the line, even if she had not had a seizure in the interim."