FERNANDO Alonso may soon have a rival as Spain’s best racing driver.

Maria de Villota, 32, from Madrid has landed a highly sought-after role as a test driver for the Marussia Formula One team – becoming one of only a handful of women to make it in the male-dominated sport.

Villota will follow in the footsteps of her dad, former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, after making a name for herself in Formula Three.

The talented driver is no stranger to Formula One having spent time testing for Renault last year, and will conduct a series of tests for her new employer over the next 12 months.