Daily Archives: February 6, 2011

Up to 12 months on the sidelines for Kubica

Robert Kubica may be ruled out for the entire year after his crash

Robert Kubica may be ruled out for the entire year after his crash

After his crash while rallying, the injuries sustained by Robert Kubica could take up to a year to heal, doctors say.

He lost control of his Super 2000 Skoda Fabia, hit a wall, and the crash barrier penetrated the cockpit of the car. He suffered multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand. He has been in surgery up to a few hours ago.

There were initial fears that his hand would have to be amputated, after a huge amount of blood loss, but doctors say that his hand is safe – for the moment.

Dr. Igor Rossello, a surgeon with a specialty in hand injuries, told the media:

"We need to wait for a week at least to verify whether the hand survives. The nerve
lesions are the ones that leave us with the most question marks over the recovery of

Rehabilitation will be relatively long, probably one year. He came here with
multiple traumas, with several associated injuries. He won't necessarily have to
undergo further surgery on the hand, but he will if needed."

Regarding Kubica returning to racing, he stated:

"One year is the best provision.

I think it is quite difficult now, but you never know. Drivers are always very
special patients. I have a lot of motorbike patients and they heal in a much
faster way - faster than normal people."

Kubica’s co-driver Jakub Gerber avoided injury from the crash, although he said that he did not know what caused the Poe to lose control of his car:

"We were on the first four kilometres of the first special stage. I was looking at
the notes and didn't notice that the car was skidding. Only when we crashed I saw
Robert holding his arm, and after a few moments he lost consciousness.

Robert isn't just a great driver, he is a friend. I just hope he can recover soon."

Some have criticised Renault for allowing Kubica to go rallying, particularly just before the start of the season. However, team principal Eric Boullier defended the decision:

"We've let him do it because rallying is what he loves to do. Rallying is vital for
Robert and for his sanity. Besides that, there is a reciprocal agreement. We knew
the risks and so did he. We didn't want a robot or a corporate man for a driver."

The following is a press conference a few hours ago: (note Fernando Alonso at the start of the video, he visited the hospital where Kubica is)

Update: Renault have released the following statement:

“Robert Kubica underwent a seven-hour operation at the Santa Corona Hospital in 
Pietra Ligure this afternoon. The Lotus Renault GP driver had been diagnosed with 
multiple fractures to his right arm and leg following a high-speed accident at 
the Ronda de Andora rally this morning. He also suffered severe cuts to his 
forearm, which could have an impact on his right hand mobility.

Doctors are reasonably satisfied with the way the operation went. Tonight, Robert’s 
condition remains stable but serious. He has been placed into an induced coma and 
could be woken up in the morning.

Professor Mario Igor Rossello, Director for the Regional Centre of Hand Surgery 
at San Paolo Hospital in Savona: ‘It has been a very important and difficult 
operation. Robert Kubica’s right forearm was cut in two places, with significant 
lesions to the bones and the tendons. We did our best to rebuild the functions of 
the forearm. It took seven doctors, split into two teams and a total of seven 
hours to complete the operation. One team was the emergency task force from the 
hospital of San Paolo (Savona) that is normally appointed to treat this sort of 
injury, while the other team came from the orthopaedic department of the Santa 
Corona Hospital (Pietra Ligure). At the end of the operation, Robert’s hand was 
well vascularised and warm, which is encouraging. Following the surgery, Robert 
Kubica will remain under permanent monitoring overnight because his condition 
remains serious.'

Eric Boullier, Team Principal and Managing Director of Lotus Renault GP: ‘The 
news of Robert’s accident came as a real shock to the whole team. All of us, at 
Lotus Renault GP, wish him a quick recovery. We have been really impressed with 
the way the doctors looked after him today and we would like to thank the whole 
team of the Santa Corona Hospital for their professional approach and dedication. 
I will be travelling to Italy tomorrow, along with Vitaly Petrov, in order to see 
Robert and tell him that we are impatiently waiting for his return.’

Another update will be made tomorrow morning at 9h30, at the hospital, by 
Professor Rossello and Daniel Morelli, Robert’s manager.”


Kubica seriously injured in rally crash

Robert Kubica's 2011 season is in doubt after a crash while rallying

Robert Kubica's 2011 season is in doubt after a crash while rallying

Robert Kubica has suffered multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand, and possibly his hip, after a high-speed crash at the Ronde di Andora rally today.

He is currently undergoing surgery at the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure. All we know about his crash so far is that he left the track and hit a wall, caving the front of the car in, and shattering part of the roll structure.

His co-driver, Jakub Gerber, has posted on his Facebook account that he is perfectly fine.

A statement from the team read:

“After undergoing extensive medical checks this morning, Robert Kubica has been
diagnosed with multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand. He is currently
undergoing surgery at the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure.

Robert suffered a high-speed accident this morning while competing in the Ronde
di Andora Rally.

Daniel Morelli, Robert’s manager, will be available for the press in front of
the hospital emergency entrance at 16:30 CET (15:50 GMT).

Lotus Renault GP driver, Robert Kubica, suffered an accident at high speed this
morning while competing in the Ronde di Andora Rally.

The driver was airlifted to Pietra Ligure Hospital, where he is currently
undergoing medical checks. His co-driver is fine.”

This has without question ruled him out of pre-season testing, and there will be huge doubts as to whether he will be able to start the 2011 F1 season, which begins on the 13th March. If he is not able to compete, new test driver for Renault Bruno Senna will probably be the one to take his seat.

All of us fans surely must have breathed a sigh of relief after hearing that he should be alright. However, after an accident like this, restrictions on F1 drivers competing outside of F1 will probably become even more stringent. For the moment though, let’s just hope that his condition doesn’t get any worse.

Update: It appears his injuries were caused by a crash barrier penetrating the door. Reports say that he was stuck in the car for more than an hour before specialist equipment extracted him from the car.

Update 2: Kubica’s operation will finish at 8:00 CET (7:00 GMT). His hand will not have to be amputated, but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to use it afterwards. The focus of the operation is on the blood supply to his hand.

Update 3: Co-driver Jakub Gerber has stated: “(he) was conscious, then fainted and woke up a couple of times, without having full knowledge of what has happened”. It has been confirmed that there is no threat to his life.

His manager, Daniele Morelli, has said: “The surgeons are trying to restore the functionality of his right hand. They must now think about the muscle function, but Robert has a very strong temper and will succeed.”

An Italian video after the crash: