Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia, 2011

Kubica’s recovery could take a year, surgeon says

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia, 2011
Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia, 2011

The surgeon who operated on Robert Kubica following his crash this morning said it could take a year for him to recover.

Professor Mario Igor Rossello, a specialist in hand surgery, spent over seven hours operating on Kubica. Afterwards he said, “We will see in one year what will happen with his nerves injury.”

Rossello said it was “really difficult to say now” whether Kubica would be be able to use his hand as well as he could before.

The professor added that the next few days were crucial to ensure the surgery had been a success:

“The danger is in five, seven days, you can have vascular problems, vascular shocks. We could do surgery again to solve these problems.”

With Kubica likely to face a long time out of the cockpit, Renault are expected to turn to Bruno Senna to take his place in the team.

Renault has two third drivers, Senna and Romain Grosjean. Team principal Eric Boullier said last week that if one of his race drivers had to be replaced, “I will get the one who is ready and obviously Bruno is the most ready driver.”

This video shows more from the interview with the doctor, as well as footage of Fernando Alonso who went to visit Kubica.

Update: Renault have issued 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 9:30 CET (8:30 GMT), at the hospital, by Professor Rossello and Daniel Morelli, Robert’s manager.”

Thank you to everyone who emailled and Tweeted to let me know about the video

Robert Kubica rally crash

285 comments on “Kubica’s recovery could take a year, surgeon says”

  1. Damn. This really suck for Robert, possibly his best chance so far of sitting in a championship winning car and this happens.

    Get well soon Robert.
    Will he be another case of what could have been?

    1. Will he be another case of what could have been?

      I hope not.

      1. Kubica’s incident has made me ill to my stomach, just like what happend with Massa.

        I’m just feeling sad at the moment just like alot of people here. This week will be one of the longest for all of us, hoping for a good, no, no a GREAT result for Kubica when they check up on him.

        1. now that it’s taken time to settle in, I also feel quite sad. I loved watching Kubica drive, especially in 2008. I hope to see him back soon so I can enjoy it once more. get well buddy.

        2. We can but hope. Whether we see Kubica in the cockpit again (and I hope we do) I hope makes a swift and pain free recovery.

        3. @ Get well soon Kubica!!!

          Are the same person as nico roseber to win…

          and pedal to the vettel & max must resign now!!! ?

          1. Yes to the first 2 but i’ve never had a name which was “max must resign now”

            I’ve changed my name from Nico to win 2011 is because of the reason which my name states now.

        4. I’ve never been worried for Massa the same way I am for Robert now, there was not so much damage involved.

          This kinda reminds me of the Zanardi accident, although then it was very soon clear that he had lost both of his legs.

        5. Get well brother. You are in our hearts and thoughts and everyone here wishes you a speedy recovery.

    2. Too early to tell. I will state however that the last drivers I can remember retiring from F1 for medical reasons were Allesando Nannini (who had a helicopter accent involving his hand) and poor Martin Donnelly. Both of those accidents were around 1990.

      Both Allesando and Martin later competed in various sports car formulas. It may stop him from F1 but won’t stop him racing.

      1. The sport was robbed of some great upcoming talent with Nannini and Donnelly having there careers cut short with there terrible injuries. I wish Robert all the best and hope that he will again be able to jump into a race car.

      2. Brundle had a close call when he broke both his ankles in the 1984 USGP, at that time it wasn’t even clear whether if they were going to amputate his feet!

        That said, it’ll never be known whether if he could have won an F1 race (or WDC) if his injuries didn’t occur since he was considered on par with Ayrton Senna then…

    3. I’m afraid it may well be. The median and ulnar nerves the surgeon refers to are the main nerves allowing the muscles of the forarm and hand to move. Nerves do not repair in the same way as muscles and bones, at best they re-grow exceedingly slowly, at worst not at all. The surgeon is trying to explain in the most considerate way he can that it will be a year before we see whether Robert can move his hand/forarm in any normal way, such as to hold a pen, let alone drive a racing car. This is an incredibly sad piece of news and I wish Robert and his family all the best.

      1. That seems a realistic assumption. I’m terribly sorry for both Kubica and everyone at Renault — I guess now we’ll never know how good Kubica is, and how good this year’s Renault is.

  2. That’s terrible news. I hope he makes a full recovery and is back next year.

    1. Awful News, worst stroy of the year. Really terrible to see something like this happen to such a promising talent.

      1. It’s undoubtedly that saddest thing in motor racing to happen since Massa’s accident.
        Kubica was and is one of (if not the) best driver in Formula one. I look forward to seeing him recover.

        1. It’t not quite as bad as Massa’s incident for me but that’s because there seemed to be a chance Massa wouldn’t survive but at least we know Robert will. It is awful news but F1 drivers do tend to recover very quickly so hopefully this is just a set back.

          1. It sounds like Robert’s life was in question at first, but I get what you mean. It’s quite different as well in that we weren’t all watching it happen live, so there was much more hearsay and misinformation compared with Massa’s accident. I hope you’re right, and this is just a temporary setback on his road to becoming a world champion…

  3. Better one year then never, although even that may be a doubt, for F1 driving at least…

    1. Agreed better to have to sit out 1 year versus loosing his life! Let’s hope for a speedy recovery.

  4. This is so sad ! I hope he gets better real quick !

    On another note, Renault won’t have an experienced driver next year. Petrov was always a second behind Kubica, Senna won’t do any better. We will never see the true potential of the Renault unless they can get someone else in there.

    1. As innaproprite a time this is to say this – Boullier did state that Senna was the man in waiting, and he therefore must be given the chance. How else are you going to blood new drivers? Senna’s death was an opportunity for Coultahrd to enter the sport. BMW backed Vettel to replace Kubica after his huge crash in Canada.

      You may see it as a waste for the R31 to be placed into the hands of two inexperienced drivers, but its not. Its a huge opportunity, one that must be grasped with both hands. It can make or break a driver – whos to say that a Heidfeld could wring all the potential from that car and Petrov and Senna couldnt?

        1. … not to mention the fact that it would be jumping to some pretty big conclusions to assume that the R31 will be a race winning car. It’s possible, but certainly not guaranteed at this point.

      1. Kubica’s life is not in danger, as sad as a moment this is its not innapropriate to talk about his replacement Dipak T.

        You see it as a great opportunity for 2 rookies, i see it as a waste of a good car. I think they need a Raikkonen in there, or Villeneuve.

        1. Raikkonen would be interesting actually – last time he was slogging a KERS car around he seemed to do pretty well.

          1. If it’s a choice between Senna who’s driven a mostly up to date F1 car recently, or Raikkonen who last drove a car over a year ago and wasn’t too committed when he did so … i’ll pick Bruno.

            At least Bruno is hungry for the challenge.

          2. First of all, this is terrible news and i wish Robert the speediest of recoveries.

            Secondly it puts Renault in an absoloutly dire position. You can tell they have high hopes of the R31 and they really need a strong leading driver to develop the car at a time like this. I honestly think Petrov/Senna just isnt good enough. They need a strong race winning driver to give them direction,and there’s just not one on the market.
            Raikkonen just isnt coming back lets face it so that leaves them with who…. Heidfeld? that’s a risk…….

          3. This is very unfortunate. Kubica was looking to be in good shape to win races this year.

            I cant see Bruno Senna being faster than Petrov. Kubica always managed to pull a couple extra tenths out of the car, which is why he was capable of challenging the big guns for results.

            If you look at Senna’s performance in HRT last year, he didnt exactly blow his teamates away now did he? Petrov had his moments, and I think he has talent, but lets see how he does this year, the second year is always more difficult than the first.

            If I was Renault, I would looking to bring an experienced head back into the cockpit. Driving with two “sort of” rookies will not do them any favours. They should knock on Kimi’s door and give a year’s contract.

            Who else can they call on?

        2. I’d rather put Yamamoto in a car than Villeneuve.

          I agree, new talent must be given an opportunity. I’d go for Hulk-Petrov though. It wouldnt hurt Senna to spend a year on the sidelines and learn not to spin.

          1. But the point is Senna is their reserve driver, Hülkenberg is not. Contracts for such contingencies are already in place. I think it’s likely Senna will get the seat.

        3. You see it as a great opportunity for 2 rookies, i see it as a waste of a good car.

          In 2007, De La Rosa could have got the second Mclaren drive. But they gave it to the rookie you-know-who and a year later, he was world champion.

          1. Yeah… Lewis Hamilton was very far from your average rookie. He’d been standing out and winning races since he was 8? He was a groomed superstar …

            Speaking for myself, I expected him to come in to f1 and blow the thing wide open.

            However, in principle you’re right, we will see. If Bruno gets a season in that car, he’ll either be brilliant or show himself wanting. We’ve got Vitali to compare him with, so they’ll both be keen to beat, and keep beating their team mate for credence.

          2. Senna has only had a few years racing since he gave it up (forced) after Ayrton died.

            I’d hardly say that Senna is just another through the ranks, he shot through them madly.

            I’d saythe most likely situation is this:
            Senna – Wants drive and to prove himself. HRT was **** and he smashed Petrov in GP2 in 2008.
            Kubica – Will need all the sim time he can get to keep himself up over his recovery period.
            Devopment work needs to be done – either 1 experienced drive to do it or Kubica in the sim.

            I’m guessing it will go something like this
            – Senna in race seat. Will look again after flyaways to see if he is improving. THen halfway through season again to check. Expecting Senna to beat Petrov more often that not by half way through the season.
            – Kubica can develop the car as much as he can from the sim. He needs as much time in there as possible to keep himself up there and the work will help the team.

      2. whos to say that a Heidfeld could wring all the potential from that car and Petrov and Senna couldnt?

        Taking especially into account that Heidfeld’s talent has been observed since 2000, so we know how he is, whilst Senna and Petrov may be even better, but we have not had enough time to valuate them.

  5. Nerves can take quite a while to repair – but at least there is a chance of a full recovery – that’s very good to hear.

    All this talk of the hand injury must also mean that the other broken bones should recover normally within that time.

    1. but at least there is a chance of a full recovery – that’s very good to hear.

      The way the stories are coming out about this it sounds like if it was you and me they would have amputated instead of repaired.

      1. No, I don’t think so. Doctors of that caliber often has a great deal of professional pride – only if they have multiple injured people and has to choose between them, they would pick the more promissing patient over the hopeless case…But of course if You are much older and in average condition, then the probability of healing properly will be lower, so in that way You might be right.
        I hope he will be able to get back to a good life for himself after this. If this means racing F1 again, then fine if not I hope at least he can compete in other racing series…

  6. Well, as much as it makes me feel upset, I think at the end of the day one has to complement Prof. Rossello. It’s a massive shame Kubica won’t be able to drive the R31, but really, he still has his hand, and above all, his life.

    Having said that, boy do I hope he recovers quickly and makes a similar comeback as he did on the Norisring in 2003 ;).

    1. Agree.

      I do keep my hopes up. Like the doctor says in the video, these race drivers are really something special and have shown incredible strong will in recovering before.

      1. True. With any luck we might get to see him back in the car before the season’s finished…

        1. I think that’s unlikley. He’s lost his chance at the WDC, an there’s no point of putting his recouvery at risk.

          1. Wishful thinking on my part, due partially to denial.

          2. There’s probably a higher chance of him starting work on the 2012 car and simulator development as part of his physiotherapy than getting him back in the race seat, I’m afraid…

          3. @scribe. Lost his chance at WDC?? You seem to have an awful lot of confidence in the R31. I think Robert will get a shot at the WDC again, but it will just take a year or two longer.

  7. Let’s hope he can get in an F1 car as soon as possible.
    Even if this will be in 2012!

    I’m putting my money on a call for Nick Heidfeld.

    All the best to Robert!

    1. Heidfeld didn’t really look that special when he came back at the end of last year.

      Renault have gone from having an exceptional driver and a moderately good driver to just having 2 moderately good drivers. That’s a major blow. Raikkonen is the only one i can think of off the top of my head that can change that. Possibly Hulkenberg. He might be the safest bet.

      They really need to change the rules so teams can test more drivers out.

      1. i think they should go for someone with experience whoever that could be and i include klien in that batch with nick and kimi…or juan? just imagine that! i know not happening but nice thought.

        Renault could try and force Heikki or jarno away from lotus due to them having the same engine.

        or try to get glock? would be a good choice.

        Paffet? Wurz? options are pretty slim it appears.

        and then seat share petrov and senna. 6 races on 6 races off. not ideal but might be only way

      2. Is Petrov that ‘moderately good driver’? You gotta be joking. He is amongst the worst drivers on the grid. I think he will get marginally better this season, but not enough to be Lotus Ren’s goto guy. If its either Senna/Grosjean and Petrov in that Lotus Ren, they will be fielding the 2nd weakest driver pairing on the grid. The weakest driver pairing would obviously be HRT.

  8. Yowch, hope he recovers fast and at least gets full use of his hand back.

  9. Hes alive, and his hand is intact. So thats one thing. If it takes six months or 2 years for his to fully recover, if he does recover, he has our full support. I sincerely hope that this isnt anouther ‘what could’ve been.’

    Hakkinen survived his horrific crash, and he went on to be a champion. I have the belief that Kubica will do the same.

    1. His doctor expects it’ll take a year to recover fully, which most likely means he’ll be able to move all his fingers and hold a cup of coffee, at least something quite different from countering the continuous strain of steering an F1 car. It sounds far from intact, mote like absolutely shattered to bits. :(

      I’m not sure why but this news really hit awfully hard. I’ve always liked Kubica a lot (as apparently most have) and really expected him to launch a serious go at the WDC sooner rather than later. I really hope he gets as well as he can as soon as humanly possible…

      The shy unassuming pole was a unique figure among all the prima donna’s. :/

      1. +1 The hand was close to being amputated according to some reports and there’s been a lot of reconstruction work apparently. I’m sure with Kubica’s talent and mental strength we’ll see him racing again, just don’t imagine it will be that quick. He’ll be missed this season for sure.

        1. Mental strength ain’t gonna fix nerves – hard work and patience will help. I think he’ll be back in motorsport but i don’t expect him to be in F1. Its just too hard and with all the buttons on the steering wheel…

          1. That’s why I said racing, not F1. Still too early to tell whether he’ll be back, but I truly hope so. I think he’s one of only three drivers in the sport who really push the limits now.

  10. Whatever about sticking Senna in the car for a couple of races, I doubt Renault will want to run Petrov and a guy who was outclassed by Klein all year. If I were Hulk’s manager I’d be on the phone a lot.

    1. They won’t run with Senna for long. He is convenient PR for Renault because of his name, but when the statement was made that he was first in line nobody guessed they would have to use him for a full season. Renault have something to prove this year, and might just have been able to do it with Kubica. Hulk might offer something better, but at the end of the day there is nobody outstanding that hasn’t been signed up elsewhere.

      1. There is Heidfeld. The guy is vastly underestimated. If the car is a championship winning car the only driver from the drivers left that has a possibility of actually achieving it, is Heidfeld.
        His a standard good driver that can get the job done when the car is performing.

        1. agreed, nick was better at BMW than anyone ever gave him praise for.
          The problem for Renault is that they only had one good driver and to add Senna beside him would be too risky. When Massa crashed they still had a good driver so it was ok to give Fisi a go, was ok to give DC a shot in the Williams as damon was going well (note that mansell had a few races in the Wiliams that year too).
          They need experience, anfd their reserves and even the Hulk dont have that. Kimi has a rally contract and didnt get on well with renault negotiations last year, Anthony Davidson has a Pug contract, is prob not experienced enough and hasnt been in an F1 car for a while. Quick nick is the obvious choice, the only reason he didnt get the Sauber seat was Carlos Slims money.

          Get well soon Robert, your old team mate would be best to keep your seat warm i think.

        2. I just wish Heidfeld was more motivated. He reminds me of Kimi in that regard, if you can’t light a fire under him he is just another driver, but if you can keep him focused he is actually very quick.

  11. He’ll be back before a year, the guy is made of tough stuff, he will bounce back.

  12. All people here is wishing Kubica a fast and full recovery but I think is a good chance for the FIA to review all the WRC safety regulations.

  13. I am happy that they managed to save his hand – best news of the day. Now I’ll hope he will recover fast and be able to race. Best wishes Robert!

    1. +1. It may be hard to hear about 1 year to full recovery, but we should remeber people were talking of amputation a few hours ago!

      Plus, the doctor hinted that he may indeed have a FULL recovery, and the doctor would obviously be conservative in such a moment

      1. It’s always good to be wary of the worst situation from a different point of view it shows he is doing his utmost and doesn’t want to give false hope, he will be with Kubica the whole way until he is no longer needed.

        But like the surgeon said: the next 5-7 days are critical for the hand, if it gets the thumbs up it’s just a matter of time afterwards to get to another milestone. The quicker the surgeons are happy with the continuing results the hand shows, the more promising it will turn out for Kubica within the year.

        I feel we could repeat about this conversation over and over until we get more results, I think it’s best we just try to remember Kubica is in the best of hands and that hoping and sending our support for his recovery will make him work harder to return asap when he is ready.

        Lets not be thinking a year away for Kubica to return but just coming back is what we want the most.

  14. Perhaps a call to Raikkonen? Hmmmmm? He always said he would only come back for a competitive car.

    1. That’s Raikkonen out then. Sorry but the belief Renault has got a championship-contender this year seems to be just wishful thinking. Not one lap of anger has been turned in by the drivers yet.

      1. The car was fairly competitive last season. With off season improvements, everyone on the same tires, KERS, etc. I think the chances are fair, especially with a former champ at the wheel. I bet Kimi’s managers are talking.

      2. if Petrov takes top 5 in quali to Bahrein, then there is no doubt.

        1. Exactly – when his replacement will have already been confirmed, or Raikkonnen will be 25 points behind.

      3. Agree Itchyes. The car seems like it could be really good but we’re still in testing and this time last year it seemed Sauber would be pleasantly surprising us all but it came to nought.

    2. Raikkonen didn’t want to go to the team 3 months ago, so I doubt he’s suddenly changed his mind now .

      1. 3 months ago he didn’t have contracts in place to continue in WRC, now he does. I think it’s safe to assume he’ll be even less interested now, although I’d be delighted if for some reason he had changed his mind, was able to back out of his rally contract, and Renault placed him in the car. I’ll be equally pleased however if Senna gets the seat just to see what he can do in a real car. He could give us the surprise of the season and outperform Petrov…

  15. 2_ UgandanDiscussions
    6th February 2011, 22:31

    Commiserations to Robert. That means we will see Sen alongside Pet this year. Where’s Kimi Raikonnen?

  16. This is both good and sad news. Good, that Rossello is giving hope for recovery, I bet he knows what he is talking about. Sad, that it might never be the same with his hand and what is worse it will take long time for him to recuperate.

    All in all, he was very lucky to get away alive with all four of his limbs in place.

  17. Is it possible that a driver would be able to drive with one hand? Maybe they could get both of the gear things on the left, so he could upshift there as well, and get the buttons really close to his hand. And what about strenght? Could a driver steer the wheel for the whole race with one hand?

    1. Well, as the f-duct one-handed driving has shown in 2010, it’s certainly easier these days.

      But he will need both hands of course… perhaps one hand at 90% is possible although it’s unlikely to be allowed by the FIA.

      1. Well to be fair F-duct is easy. A driver was using one hand only on the straight and fast corners, which is much easier than in all the corners.

        1. I watched episode 5 of “The flying lap”, the webcast Peter Windsor is doing these days, yesterday – he had Scarbs and Pedro de la Rosa there. In this respect it is interesting to note what dlR said about using the f-duct: it is easy on the one hand, but it is also very trying, because normally on a straight you can relax just a bit, but in 2010 you had to hold your hand firmly over an open pipe for the length of it, thus really tiring that arm.

        2. I don’t know if it would be possible. He’d need to build up quite a lot of strength up in one hand because his body would go through a lot of force and he’d need to use his hand to hold him and the car steady through the corners (especially high speed) lap after lap after lap.

          Also, there are buttons all over the steering wheel so it would be quite difficult even if they were just at one side because he’d have to take some of his hand away from the wheel to press them meaning he’d lose some control. Of course, he could use his injured hand for that and just leave the steering and shifting to his other.

    2. It’ll be really difficult, since as pointed out, the driver needs to turn the wheel, make gear changes, press buttons, turn dials and change brake balance sometimes in the middle of the corner…

      Hope Kubica gains full use of his physical faculties…

    3. I’m positive he will never be allowed to race in F1 with one hand. It will always be a safety issue, also in regard to his fellow drivers.

  18. Robert, you silly sod.

    I hope at the start of next season we can see this as an appropriate comment in retrospect.

  19. Hopefully there will be good news in 5 days, meaning his hand functions will come back completely.

    Does anybody know what the hell happened?? he just lost control, car failure?

    1. Maybe car failure, maybe bad road conditions – too early to tell. I would say – bad luck. Similar accidents happen in WRC even among the most experienced drivers…
      I hope he will be back in F1 at the end of the season!

    2. Apparently an unexpected bump in wet asphalt at a hairpin turn spun the car the wrong way and the very wrong way into a barrier, and a broken part of the barrier pierced the car. (I put the link in the other thread.)

      Wow, and he we were just moseying along on another Sunday. Fantastic news to hear that they were able to actually repair him. Sad as hell we won’t see him evolve this season. Hope he’s able to drive competitively again as it’s an obvious passion for the guy and a pleasure for us the spectators.

    3. That’s not what the surgeon is saying – he’s saying there’s a risk to the hand for the next 5-7 days as there could still be complications.

      It will be a lot longer before he will know how much function has been retained.

      1. …but he also said that further surgeries could take place to deal with those complications if they do arrise.

  20. I hate to bring a downer to this, but I showed that video to my girlfriend (who’s a Doctor and trainee surgeon – also has an anatomy degree) and her opinion was that it’s extremely unlikely he’ll drive an F1 car again – she decided this as soon as she heard that they’d needed to reattach BOTH of the main nerves – she says it sound like he basically ripped his hand off his wrist, which would fit with the reports on other sites using terms such as “Partially Severed”.

    Dr Rossello is being pressed for a timescale by the interviewer and his best estimate was 1 year – I think that tells you a lot as well.

    My thoughts are with Robert Kubica this evening, but it now sounds as though he’s extremely lucky to be alive.

    1. they’d needed to reattach BOTH of the main nerves

      When was this mentioned? I might have missed that.

      1. He named the nerves – ulnar and radial, radial is quite quiet but I’m sure he says it.

        I need to correct my post when I said both I should have worded it 2 of the 4 main, though apparently they are the 2 most important.

        More information here

        1. That’s for this, it’s pretty informative.

          Just read in the other topic is now undergoing another surgery. This time on his leg :/
          Hope he makes it through.

          1. Was supposed to be ‘Thanks for this’. Sorry for double post.

      2. median nerve, ulnar nerve the doctor says in the beginning of the clip. From what i remember the ulnar is important for the first three digits or last 2 digits of the fingers and part of that hand for feeling etc. IMMA stop because i dont know exactly.
        Anyway those are the main nerves he’s referring too if i’m correct.

        1. Correct. Ulnar controls little finger, index and part of the middle finger.

          I know because I’ve damaged my ulnar nerve for life after smashing my arm up 7 years ago. To be honest, I’ve never been as strong in my right hand since, but then again I never quite recovered like an athlete could!

    2. Yes, to sever both main nerves must be a lot of damage. Surely there is still risk of him losing the hand – if the veins do not heal properly leading to a lack of blood flow, infection, vascular shock as the doctor said – let alone if he does keep it how functional it will be. Then there is the timetable, he could easily miss two seasons even if he does come back.
      Such a shame, he has shown such promise. Best of Luck Robert, hope you will recover well.

    3. I’m sick. Let’s just hope Kubica has the strength to overcome this…

  21. Man this really sucks. I hope he makes a full recovery and comes back to win a title, but please please pleeeease let Kimi come back!!!!!

  22. There’s doubt that his hand will ever recover fully AT ALL, let alone this year. Obviously he’s not going to be on the Bahrain grid, but there’s a very real chance that he’ll never drive in F1 again.

  23. Sunday left me broken and crying…

    Rob, best wishes and hope you will be back to f1 racing.

  24. Also, if you assume that Kubica won’t be back until 2012 (if at all), surely that makes Raikkonen a more likely contender.

    If Kubica is only going to miss a couple of races, sure, give Senna the seat. But if there’s a decent prospect of an available seat for the entire season, wouldn’t Senna be a bit of a waste?

    1. Yes Senna is a waste of a seat. Heidfeld or Kimi need a comeback!

      1. What? You’re judging a man based on his driving the WORST car last year?

        1. He is no replacement for Kubica. That would leave Petrov as the senior driver. Renault can just kiss any chances goodbye if that’s the move they make. They need to sign a veteran driver and pronto.

          1. Thats exactly my thoughts, you need a senior driver in there. A lot of people say Raikkonen would not be good anymore, i completely disagree, he would be able to do it.

    2. There’s very few drivers which would be a suitable replacement for Robert.

      I think it’s right that Senna gets to show what he’s got in a front running team, especially after HRT. Kimi is focused on rallying, so I’ve given up any fantasy’s there, and Heidfeld is over the hill IMO, he’s never really impressed with his driving in the past.

      Cmon, give Bruno a chance!

    3. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      7th February 2011, 4:13

      People are saying Senna is a waster, but he was in line for the Brawn seat last year before Barichello decided to stay, so obviously some people think he has potential.

      1. and they only kept rubens since the testing ban came into play. If testing was allowed to resume, it’d be Senna in I believe.

        But, it didn’t happen!

  25. Kimi's Ice-Cream
    6th February 2011, 23:25

    Your GF may be right, but there are several factors here
    -the nature of the nerve injury. A cleanly severed nerve heals much better -and faster- than a smashed one. There are contradictory early reports about the state of RK’s hand (from nearly severed to beaten to a pulp) but they are probably exaggerated.
    -the time of ischaemia (i. e. without appropriate blood flow) the the time from injury to reattachment. It has been fairly long (simply getting RK out of the car took over 1 hour we are told)
    -the ability of the surgical team and the meticulousness of the job. We have reasons to believe it was top-notch.
    -the shape of the injured person and their motivation for rehab. Again, top notch.

    Although an ulnar + cubital section sounds pretty bad, I wouldn’t give up hope. Dr Rosello has been quoted today saying “RK should be able to get back the full functionality of his limb amd _maybe_ (forse) get back to his piloting job. So I would expect to see Robert back in business anytime soon.

  26. Horrible news, I’m rather depressed about this. I’m also depressed for Renault. After a great comeback last year I was expecting even better things this year and it was mostly resting on Kubica.

    1. I think a lot of us are just shocked, and at a loss of words. It would be one of the greatest losses to the sport if Robert is unable to get behind the wheel of an F1 car again.

      But I guess what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. Hoping that Kubica can make a 100% recovery at some point of time, and come back to claim the crown.

  27. I am devasted. Ever since Kubica joined F1 he was my favourite driver. I am unlike my fellow Brits supporting Ham and But.

    I am angry at Kubica for doing this to all of us. He should of just been happy driving in F1. Now we may never see him in F1 again which breaks my heart. I have no idea who to support if he leaves..! :,(

    1. Carsvschildren
      7th February 2011, 2:33

      Yeah cos you are the one really suffering in all of this. We sit back and get amazing entertainment from these men putting their lives on the line, what they do in their free time is between them and their employer.

      It’s not always about you.

    2. very same here :(((
      im shocked and depressed.

  28. Very very sad news. But this wasn’t needed. Kubica should not have taken such big risks. Anyways one person’s bad luck can be other’s good luck. Would like to see Bruno Senna taking Kubica’s seat and living upto the expectations and if the car proves to be a top one than who knows maybe championship.

    I would say he will convincingly beat Petrov.

    1. Agreed. Such big risks right before the start of a new season with testing etc. Unnecessary. Renault leadership should not have let him rally (or any other racing) this close to the start. Its a crying shame but a race car driver will do what they feel they need to do.

      1. Impreza_600BHP
        7th February 2011, 1:23

        he is one of the most passionate racing addicts on the grid, i would have thought a bit of karting competition would have satisified his apetite for racing between F1 meetings, it does ok for Micheal Schumacher, you will often see shumi in Amateur kart racing inbetween F1 meetings, ok its not exactly “safe” (no racing is) but its much safer than Rallying.

  29. Gutted for Kubica, one of my favourite drivers on the grid! Hope he makes a full recovery, awful timing for him.

  30. this is aweful news :( i was really looking forward to kubica this year.. dare i say it. this destroys any hopes renault had for this season :\

    1. @nemo, Not if they get Kimi.

      1. i realy hope they do. but hasnt he already made it quite clear he wont be returning..? :\

  31. this is a pic of the car after the accident http://www.gry-online.pl/Galeria/Forum/2/350348059.jpg

  32. Forza Robert!
    Great talent and a likeable personality.
    You’ll be sorely missed.
    I hope you get well soon and will one day race again.

  33. Just been sent this picture which shows how the barrier went into the front of the car. Quite horrifying:

    http://www.gry-online.pl/Galeria/Forum/2/350348059.jpg

    1. Impreza_600BHP
      7th February 2011, 0:53

      the idiots responsible for desiging/maintaining that barrier should be brought to justice, is there not supposed to supposed to be a buffer at the end of the barrier to stop it from stabbing through the car?

      1. more so the event organisers for providing an unsafe facility than the maintainence people.

        The track would have had to have been passed by course cars before the stage was run…

        1. But this happened when driving to the start of the next stage.
          Still, I would hope everyone goes out checking their guard railing for that kind of problems now.

          1. so sad ;(

          2. Hm, from what I picked up on Grandprix.com his co drivers told they were already in the firsts stage:

            Kubica’s co-driver Jakub Gerber told Gazzetta dello Sport: “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.”

      2. @ Impreza_600BHP

        Going by your logics even Adrian Newey should have been put into jail for killing Senna by building a wrong steering.

        1. No – there’s a difference – Senna’s steering column failure was unforseeable.

          If you watch the video from the car following Kubica http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALbxMiwf4nw you can see ALL the armco barriers at the roadside are setup exactly like the one he hit – they all start with just the sharp edge exposed in mid air. It’s blatantly obvious that a car would get skewered if it ran wide approaching any of them. I unbelievable they’re installed as they are.

          (if you don’t want to see the crash scene, stop that vid before the 3 minute mark or so – it’s not nice hearing the terror in the driver’s breathing as they stop to help)

    2. Bloody hell, that’s scary. I thought armco barriers would stand up to much more severe impact without buckling.

      1. Seems he hit it head on, rather that side on like the barriers are designed for.

        In my mind, he was turning, hit moisture, drove in to the end of the barrier, which stuck in the car and span it round to finish in the position you see in the picture.

        I may be right, I may be wrong, but it seems like that to me.

        We are, rightly concerned and saddened by his situation. It’s very shocking, but I think it’s worth mentioning that he’s alive, and he will recover at least some if not all of his hand function.

        On the other hand, I had a friend some years ago, who had a similar accident, and passed away because of a matter of inches and a fence post.

        It could have be very much worse, so for that.. it’s better his current situation than the other.

        Having said that, I wish he could have walked away like he did in 2007, and like his co driver did. Perhaps more cars will be built around a carbon fibre monocoque safety cell the the McLaren MP4-12c in the future?

    3. Keith, as you can still see Kubica in the car in that photo I think it might be in better taste to remove the link…

      You call of course, but that’s my opinion.

      1. I do not see him in there, am I blind? >.>

      2. We’re talking about a few pixels at most, I don’t think it’s likely to cause distress.

        1. Well easy to get righteous some times. I don’t think its a problem personally. We are racing fans. There were pictures of mass a after his accident, I believe posted here too, but maybe not by Keith, I can’t remember.

          The fact is, Robert is doing well, so these pictures for many carry a little less severity that if the result was ultimately fatal.

          People need to see and understand the dangers of these sports. Road cars are subject to the same kinds of accidents, with much less protection. Maybe seeing these pictures will slow a few people down.

          As I mentioned before, I guy I knew passed away in this exact manner. He wasn’t paying attention to the road.. His fault, but perhaps he would have shown more respect to the road if he was aware of these possible consequences. I know that’s how it affects me.

          1. Massa* sorry. IPad is very pedantic about words it doesn’t understand.

      3. I don’t see the problem with this photo. Kubica isn’t dead, not in this picture or otherwise, so why treat him as such? Kubica is barely even visible in the picture; the information value here is therefore clearly (and only) in the crash site and the condition of the car.

        Instead, take this photo and celebrate the monumental fortune that he actually came out alive from a crash that violent and life-threatening. :)

    4. Shame you felt the need to post a link to a “quite horrifying” picture at all. Rubbernecking at its worst.

      1. I haven’t posted this for shock value or out of some morbid curiosity. People want to know what happened and when I put the link up it was the best available image which illustrated the ferocity of the accident. Yes, it’s upsetting to consider what’s happened, which is why I cautioned people when I posted it.

        1. True its not comfortable viewing, but people are interested in what happened. It was only the car and not Kubica in it which would have been unacceptable, such as the one of Massa after his accident.

          You didnt have to click on the link.

        2. Some people want to understand what happened. Some don’t. Those who want to can click the link, those who don’t can ignore it.

          It’s not like Keith has posted the image itself as an article on its own.

        3. For what it’s worth, I think you’ve handled the whole incident very sensitively.

          I have to admit that I was pretty upset by a photo I saw posted directly on a major (US) news site without any warning. I wasn’t sure whether I was being too sensitive or what, but I found myself feeling thankful for not encountering such photos without warning on other sites (including yours).

        4. Anyone who wanted to see it could have easily found it elsewhere. Rubbernecking.. nothing more.

      2. Rubbish. People need to see accidents not sanitised coverage. Same as with other news. No-one in the west is “allowed” to see people being killed in wars but it’s fine to show people fall out of the world trade center, because that is used to fire people up. Censorship is manipulation by impression and illusion. He drives in public. He knows it’s photographed and filmed and it’s a lesson to people who don’t know that cars are effectively bullets on wheels. Look and learn. I had to wait over a year I think to see footage and photos of Alex Zinardi’s crash in a documentary about him because of stupid politically controlled censorship. It didn’t do him or anyone else any good. Understanding does not come from ignorance

        1. I agree with Noelinho, if you don’t like it then don’t watch it,just ignore.

  34. I’m putting money on a kimi return. This will be dismissed by many, but Renault are a team with big targets. These won’t be achieved with Petrol, Senna or even Heidfeld. I can see Bernie having a part in this. If he can get Chandhok and Petrov on the grid when they weren’t obvious choices, he can get kimi back in F1. Plus, I wouldn’t mind a grid with 6 champs.

    1. I like your thinking!

    2. Kimi fanboys need to just let it go. He is probably not going to return to the sport, and definitely not going to return this season, and definitely not with Renault.

      I am a kimi fan as well, but dont get your hopes up for a guy who is not interested in F1 anymore, and was never interested in Renault.

    3. I like the idea of Anthony Davidson. Will Buxton suggested him, and initially I thought no-chance, he’s well out of the loop. However, he made some reasonable arguments for picking him :

      Anthony Davidson is a name which has not yet been mentioned but which I believe should be. Rarely has there been a better car developer than Davidson. His work at BAR Honda was incredibly highly valued, and he made something of a name for himself as a Friday driver. He has recent and relevant racing experience for Super Aguri in F1, regular simulator sessions over at Mercedes have kept him sharp, and racing for Peugeot at Le Mans hasn’t done him any harm either. Could he lead the team? You bet. Could he take a good car and turn it into a race winner? Absolutely. He is, perhaps, the very best driver to do so in these circumstances.

      Clever, technically gifted, a wonderful development driver, a proper bloke and a team player, Davidson would be a perfect fit.

  35. What about the leg surgery he was said to be undergoing until midnight?
    Any news on that, or was someone misinformed?

    About the pic, he really had the worst of luck :/

  36. This is the latest information from the most trusted source Mikolaj Sokol Robert friend and journalist:

    http://translate.google.pl/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=pl&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Ff1.pl%2FArtykul.82%2BM590c0ec71da.0.html

    Sorry for “Google translator” but it’s too late to translate it all by my self ;)

  37. For me this is the worst F1 news since the tragic death of Ayrton Senna. Gutted. Absolutely gutted.

  38. I might just have realised how serious Kubica’s accident was.

    Mikołaj Sokół, one of the Polish journalists who actually knows something about motorsport, and a friend of Kubica, said that he was close to death.

    I’ll roughly translate what he says here: http://f1.pl/Artykul.82+M590c0ec71da.0.html

    For a long time I was contemplating whether to act as a journalist or a friend of Robert Kubica. In the light of all the false rumours circulating I decided to share some information right from the hospital in Santa Corona.

    The truth is that Robert was fighting for his life. When he was transported to the hospital after a long and not very efficient rescue action, the doctors were primarily occupied with saving Robert’s life rather than healing the injuries he obtained in the crash. Fortunately, Robert’s organism proved to be very strong. As an effect of a continuous ten hour long operation the doctors managed to not only eliminate the threats to his life but also to concentrate on the most serious injuries. I would like to emphasise that Robert was in the hands of truly extraordinary specialists.

    In the doctors’ opinion the next couple of hours will have a fundamental effect on the future. At the moment any estimates regarding the regeneration time are premature.

    We ask all journalists and fans not to rely on rumours and unverified information, since by doing so they might cause a lot of pain to Robert’s family and closest friends.

    I will try to provide the newest information on any development.

    Mikołaj Sokół

    1. Impreza_600BHP
      7th February 2011, 0:42

      thank you for the information and translation its much appreciated

    2. Impreza_600BHP
      7th February 2011, 0:43

      that has truly shocked me :(

    3. I felt this was the truth at the time, as he was trapped for an hour with severed arteries in his arm. Also the ‘rumours’ about him loosing him arm came out pretty quickly.. so it seemed there was very visual evidence of this.

      It’s a damned shame to be honest, and I can’t wait for him to get better.

      However, I’m glad he’s allowed to indulge his passion for rallying, as you need to race from your heart as well as your head.

      He’s just been very very unlucky to have an armcove penetrate the cabin.

  39. Impreza_600BHP
    7th February 2011, 0:41

    im just devastated but thankful hes alive if he can’t race again if anyone is man enough to face the tough road ahead it’s him, he still has his life, his girlfriend, friends and family and will come to terms with it if he can’t race again.

    Get Well soon we all hope to see you back racing!

  40. Good luck mate and wish you a speedy recovery.

    I did want bruno to get a decent chance..but not at this cost to the sport.

  41. It`s not how you crash, It`s how long it takes. This looks like a sudden stop, get well soon RK.

  42. thoughts and prayers are with Robert.
    thankfully he is alive and I hope he makes a full recovery.
    If he never races again a big loss to F1,would have been a future champion without question but hopefully he does return,however a full recovery far more important

  43. So sad for Robert. I really hope Heidfeld gets a shot. He deserves one IMO. Or Kimi coming back would be great too.

  44. All I wish that he make a quick recovery so that at least he is good enough to talk to us & use his hand well,coming in the cockpit well we will have to wait for that as the doctor said that the problem is the nerves which is difficult to recover.

    1. remember 1971

      1. Sorry can’t remember what happened in 1971?

  45. I cant believe this has happened to him, like it has been said, he has what many believe to be a promising car this year, I had high hopes for him this season – we’ll see what happens. I wish him the quickest of recoveries. A similiar thing happened to my mother’s wrist recently, it isn’t pretty at all.

    1. Sad to hear about your mom hope she is recovering well. Yes many of us think that this year Renault is a good car to fight for the WC shame we won’t see him driving it.

  46. Raikonnen has said before he prefers rally for being less stressful… Sad to have a great pilot injured just before the season. Go on Robert!!! If you need a year take it but go back to F1.

  47. how bout fisichella… replacing kubica

  48. I’ve just got back home after being away for the weekend, and I was shocked to hear about this.

    Hopefully he can at least restore his quality of life, and then think about racing later on.

    Alex Zanardi was able to work around his injury with some clever engineering, so maybe this will be possible again for Kubica.

  49. I echo everyone’s sentiments here and wish Robert a full recovery. Thoughts are with him, his family and doctors at this time

  50. I had the same shock as after hearing about Massa crash.
    Sincerelly wish Kubica speedy recovery.

    One thing I’ve noticed – why Igor Rossello keeps smiling during his interview – almost breaking into nervous laughter at the very end?

    1. I suppose he is both glad to know he did everything possible and exhausted after working on Kubica for about 7 hours.

    2. Stress reaction probably

  51. I can’t believe that we won’t see Kubica in the Renault this year–I watched him intently in 2010, and he did so well. I truly hope that Kubica’s recover is successful because it would be a shame to lose a true racing spirit such as him.

  52. Time will tell if Robert will be racing in F1 in the future, at the moment it’s just too hard to say anything about that. Because nobody knows if his hand will fully recover… it doesn’t really feel as ‘the day after’.

    Replacements?
    Well Lotus Renault has three tests coming up (12 days in total) so they could test some drivers. But besides Senna (or Grosjean) is Hülkenberg or Heidfeld really a serious option? Perhaps they also thought about Liuzzi, Räikkönen or getting Kovalainen back at Renault? I’d like to see Chandhok at a test, I think he didn’t get a fair chance at Hispania last year.

    1. Agree, although Chandhok was just yesterday confirmed for a few days of testing the Team Lotus car, he will be out of the picture.

      Kovalainen would be a good bet, but he is pretty much involved with Gascoyne and Fernandez.
      The Hulk is just as experienced as Petrov and Senna, who are on Renaults books, even though he will probably have a clause getting him out of the FI 3rd seat if he can get the Renault drive.

  53. Is this the first Formula one causality since the late great Ayrton Senna?

    1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      7th February 2011, 7:22

      He’s not dead, so he’s not really a casualty now is he?

  54. @ Peter

    Forgot about Montoya’s ‘tennis incident’ or Massa incident at Hungarian GP 2009, or Webber’s mountainbiking incident (pre-season 2010) or Kubica’s crash at Canada in 2007 which cost him a GP…

  55. I had the honor to work for a company that builds engines MECACHROME F1 for Renault, were the years 2006, 2007. . Then in the reign of Fernando Alonso’s team (2006). This year is also the beginning of Robert’s career in F1, I was proud of his person and that is British, the French have worked with the real fans spotrów motorsport, always in the talks on automotive alluded to Robert, who already knew the vedas is a great talent, treat one to him with great respect, and as I was very proud of that. A few years later-that the present time, build the engines for him, is their passion, I am full of respect for them because I had already told me “you have great talent,” What, unfortunately, was denied even some Poles.

    1. Google translate?

      1. Google translate?

        My thoughts exactly, :)

  56. I wish Robert all the best and a speedy recovery , this year , although early days , it was looking like he may have even been in with a chance to win some races , and maybe even a crack at the WDC. Real bad luck. If Bruno Senna replaces him , it will be a chance to prove himself in a good car , If he can’t , then that could be his last in F1.

  57. “Doctors are reasonably satisfied with the way the operation went.”

    Being a doctor myself, the phrase “reasonably satisfied” does not inspire me with vast confidence that everything will return to normal.

    1. Your a doc Mouse? Wow! I’ve followed you on this site for nearly 2 years & never realized that! My respect for you has grown 2 folds!

      Do you by chance specialize in sports injuries?

      And do you think Robert will be able to make a full recovery like Niki Lauda or Mika Hakkinen?

      1. You’ve probably not realised as I’ve only been fully qualified for 6 months ;)

        I’m on a vascular surgery rotation at the moment (way too early for me to be specialising) – our entire team has been chatting about this. Although it’s hard to know from what info we have in the public domain, from a vascular point of view, the reckoning is that his hand is safe. But from a neurological/fine motor control point of view, the reckoning was that there’s no chance he’ll get full ability back.

        Lauda’s and Hakkinen’s accidents were completely different things – although much more serious, they’re fully recoverable from. This one may not be. The hand is a very fiddly place to do major reconstructive work.

    2. It does sound like they are happy to have avoided having to amputate, having the blood flow somewhat restored, and managed to rebuild his hand and wrist as best as possible, but it took them seven hours to do it, and it was very complicated, so they are exhausted, and there might be a lot of complications waiting to happen still. I hope it was just them being careful to manage too high hopes.

  58. My stomach is churning, this is truly the nastiest piece of news I’ve read in a while… so unlucky this guy is. I just wish him the best and speediest recovery and that perhaps this 7 hour surgery has helped improve his arm even more by some miracle…

    My thoughts go out to him and all the Polish F1 supporters… So far Kubica has been a dream driver in terms of his attitude and personality, and i will be really willing his speedy and healthy return to top form…

    Get well soon Kubica…you still have a lot of F1 work to do

  59. Man seeing the main page of F1 Fanatic makes me feel so eerie. A pic of a helicopter, Ayrton Senna & Kubica……

    Man I feel sick :(

  60. Im just glad theres a chance he can drive again.

  61. Man this is so sad. Its even more terrible because it didn’t happen while he was driving a F1 car. Atleast the carbon monoquocqe would have shielded him from terrible injuries.

  62. I don´t believe any news during 2011 will be as depressing to read as this one. I see Robert Kubica as a future champion. When he comes back, even if it´s 2012, I hope he concentrates 100% on Formula 1.

    Take time time to heal, Robert, recover and we´ll see you soon!

    1. I don´t believe any news during 2011 will be as depressing to read as this one

      I hope you are correct mate. But I keep getting these nasty feelings that something terrible might happen this season.

      With movable rearwings, KERS and new rubber, its one change too many imho. The number of controls on a drivers steering could easily distract them leading to something terrible.

      Or just imagine a rear wing failing at the braking point at parabolica at monza :( The thought itself is terrifying.

      This season reminds me to the build up to 1994 when many things like active suspension, refueling rules were changed & many drivers including Ayrton Senna & Gerhard Berger expressed losts of concers regarding crashes. This time too many people including Adrian Newey & Patrick Head have expressed concerns regarding the movable rear wing concept.

      I just have this terrible feeling that something more terrible awaits us in the following months, particularly at high speed circuits like spa & Monza.

      Just hope that I am wrong. My advice to the FIA is to do away with movable rears.Its not at all a good idea to fiddle around with rear wings, particularly at braking points, it could easily destabilize a car & send it plunging into air.

      1. I have the same feeling as you. One ARW failure at the end of a long straight could end in disaster. I really do not know how the FIA puts so much emphasis on safety, and then allows a ridiculously unsafe and gimmicky invention as the ARW. But lets hope no one gets seriously injured due to this ridiculous rule/invention.

        1. Maybe we have to petition with the FIA to put on hold the implementation of ARW. I do not think that the concept has been properly tested. Or the concept itself if flawed.

          Just saw the video of Sauber doing the ARW & it looked so crude. It was like opening of fuel flaps. I think its highly dangerous & must not me implemented for the sake of safety.

          1. I do not think that the concept has been properly tested.

            They’re doing a group test of the technology in Jerez to see how it works in a race situation.

            But I think we’re a bit off-topic here.

  63. Will this stop Kubica from ever winning the championship?

    1. I hope not. It would be disastrous if he could never race in F1 again, and it would be really heartbreaking if he would return at less than 100%. He was undeniably a world champion in the making, and probably the most exciting driver on the current grid.

    2. Hamilton08 (@)
      7th February 2011, 8:29

      If he doesn’t race again, to me he will join the list of drivers such as Gilles as the greatest drivers not to win a championship. Sad.

    3. Let’s hope he will bounce back with even more resolve, so we can start calling him the iron man.

  64. Really sad to hear about Robert Kubica. This could seriously hamper the Renault car this year as kubica would not provide any more driver inputs.
    I just hope he gets well soon and he is back to his best soon.
    The other side of things, is should give senna a good chance to prove himself. I wish him all the best.

  65. Just catching up with the news now – how terrible for Kubica. I really hope he can recover and return to F1 in time. It was only a matter of time before he was in a position to win a championship, hopefully all this means is that wait will be a little longer than planned.

    Aside from that, this is a huge chance for Senna.

  66. This is terribly sad news. Kubica has been robbed of an opportunity to challenge for the championship. Renault has been robbed of their main driver; and the fans have been robbed of seeing one of the greats battle it out this season. It’s very sad news for everyone with an interest in Formula 1.

    We can only hope for a swift and easy recovery and I for one hope to see him in the car again soon.

  67. kenneth Ntulume
    7th February 2011, 8:00

    My prayers to Mr Kubica and family, this is a reality check to all us racing fans, of the clear present danger, looming over racers, and all us motorists (who BTW, have more fatal accidents than racers).
    I and my wife regularly pray against accidents, and we also pray for Lewis Hamilton often before each race.

  68. Terrible news :(
    I very much hope that he can recover as much as possible. F1 won’t be the priority now. Trying to get enough movement to have a normal life will be the most important thing.

  69. I sure hope that Kubica gets better and will be back in an F1 car soon. One thing I really admired about him was his complete lack of corporate culture. When driving for BMW he absolutely hated their approach to racing. Like his comment recently about Lotus being back in F1, and he just gives the bluntest response possible and doesn’t come up with some line.

    I really respect that about him, he talks sense and I like that.

    Get well soon Robert

  70. Truly awful news. Vast majority of F1 fans are devastated, besides few idiots, as always, but I really wish him swift recovery. It’s good that doctors are fairly optimistic about his overall condition, which still remains serious.

  71. Looks like Robert is going to be away for at least a year. Very sad news indeed.
    That said, the best option for Lotus-Renault is Senna. I think the guy is actually rather good and will be eager to do his absolute best if he gets the seat. HRT cars were dogs and did not allow him to show his true talent. The other option would be Hulkenberg if Force India releases him. Boullier should give Senna a contract for three races and then decide whether he looks around for an other driver. Heidfeld, Raikkonen are yesterday’s drivers. It would be a step back for the team.

  72. Riccardo Finnochio
    7th February 2011, 9:07

    Roberto is a cool driver, Keith have you met him before?

    1. I saw him at Valencia just the other day.

  73. I’m more angry than sad. Why was Kubica allowed to go rallying? McLaren would never allow their drivers the slightest possibility of getting injured. Ferrari only let Kimi do it because they were looking to get rid of him anyway. This is entirely the fault of the Renault management, who are the most pathetic amateurs in the pitlane.

    1. Boullier made very clear that rallying was part of Kubica’s life and experience and that in no way he would prevent his drivers from racing when they see fit. His point is that he doesn’t want “corporate drivers” and I think it’s very wise. A lot of drivers are nowadays just PR billboards for their teams and there was a time when an F1 driver could compete in Prototypes, Rallyes and that was for the better. Kubica’s accident is not any worse than Webber injuring himself (more than one time) riding his bicycle and Montoya hurting his shoulder while playing tennis…

      1. Also, more drivers are injured (and killed) in normal traffic accidents than in racing and rallying accidents. What should Renault do about that? Beam the drivers to the track? So normally, having F1 drivers drive somewhere else should be fine. Accidents happen and sometimes they end badly. It’s of course not something to be happy about, but in the end a thing like that could’ve happened anywhere.

    2. I would be more upset if Kubica “wasn’t allowed” to do what he wanted to do….

    1. They come up on Kubica’s car at 3:20 – could an Italian speaker tell us what they’re saying? Although I guess it’s probably what anyone would say if they came up on accident like that. I think that it’s just starting to it me how lucky Kubica is to be ‘only’ seriously injured.

    2. In the last seconds the driver says: “Lo sapevo che la tirava li…” that means: “I knew he would crash there”. It seems that was a dangerous point known by the local drivers…

      1. I thought Kubica was driving to the start of the rally not on the section itself? And how did he end up over that side of the road?

  74. this is mad, so many different feelings about this story.

    i’m genuinly devestated for kubica, and worried about his career but at the same time can’t help but feel that the risk taken by both him and team is utterly reckless this close to the season.

    i can’t see what was to be gained from kubica taking part in a rally over the weekend? i could understand it in the off season where he would be bored and missing the driving but you he was testing last thursday and would have been again this week.

    all in all though i’m in shock, hopefully he can come back in 2012 and pick up where he left off (any hope of him racing this season is pretty futile if you ask me, maybe the last couple of races).

    get well soon robert kubica.

  75. Looking a that video from Jarek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALbxMiwf4nw&feature=player_embedded#) there’s a bigger chance of sliding off the road and falling down, or hitting a wall than what happened to Kubica.

    What an unbelievable narrow and dangerous track, I’m sure those 3cm thick railings at some points (bridges?) are useless when you drive around 100 km/h

    1. The sight of that guard rail broken off, and jammed into the car is just terrible. I think Robert was very lucky to have survived this potentially fatal accident.

      1. Honestly what were they thinking when they were rallying through that circuit?

      2. Yeah, I really think you’re right.

        1. Rally racing is that dangerous, they knew of the scale of the hazard.
          To these days in every race in rally there are horrific accidents, that is the beauty and the potential for tragedy that makes still the pure form for speed and danger.
          I admire Robert for keeping at it and hope he will get back in F1.

          1. I quit get, just why this is a thrill for Robert and Kimi as well. Wow, running there is really tight with walls and cliffs all around.

            Great to see these guys jumped out of their car to see, weather they can help.

  76. the-muffin-man
    7th February 2011, 9:46

    I bet Jacque Villeneuve has left a message on Renault’s answerphone! – he’s been desperate to get back into F1 for a few years now.

    1. I’d agree. I’d also expect Renault deleted said message without hesitation.

  77. I wish people would stop with the Raikkonen already. I liked the guy, but I’m glad he’s not in F1 anymore and not coming back and apparently so is he.

    Anybody who has talent and drive is more deserving than any dried up ex WDC. And don’t get me started on Villeneuve.

  78. Polish station TVN.24 report that Kubica is awake and complaining about pain in his hand and foot – which under the circumstances is good news as far as nerve tissue reconstruction is concerned.

    1. As painful as it must be for Robert, that is great news.

  79. HounslowBusGarage
    7th February 2011, 10:31

    Eric Boullier defends Kubica’s rallying. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9389513.stm
    Good, I’m glad he did that, but it must be a very difficult time for Renault. And it’s great to read your post Maciek, that he’s conscious and able to feel his hand.

    1. I think that’s the right thing to do. You need your heart and mind involved in giving your best, so if he wants to do that, he should be allowed.

      I think we all know how amazingly unlucky he’s been in having an accident such as that. He has, subsequently, been very fortunate in having these amazing surgeons on hand locally..

  80. From f1.pl Robert is conscious, talking, aware :

    We have the latest and very positive information about the health of Robert Kubica. Literally a few minutes ago Daniel Morelli, manager of our countryman, made at the hospital of Santa Corona in Pietra Ligure statement.

    – Robert is conscious. I talked to him. In comparison with the situation before 24 hours there has been very positive, indeed astounding improvement of his health – he said Morelli. – Robert said he feels the consequences of the accident, but the situation is definitely better than yesterday.

    1. Video of the next car coming up the crash site :

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALbxMiwf4nw

      Drivers pull over, clearly very shocked. The stage looks terribly dangerous and exciting to drive. Narrow roads, lots of very steep drops. A few armcoves in various places show how easy it would be to make that mistake.

      It also shows you of the MASSIVE energy that would have been involved in that crash..

      1. Kubica’s co-driver and a number of others slow the next car down.

        The co-driver is understandably frantic, he runs back to the car. The drivers side door is open.

        The damage is clear to see..

        1. My video quality isn’t good but looks like that there was a little fog which may play a part.

      2. The car is smoking considerable, there looks to be a flicker of flame over the bonnet, but is more likely the just video quality and the car’s livery.

  81. From Reuters:

    Surgeon optimistic on Robert Kubica injury
    Robert Kubica’s injured right hand is making progress but more time is needed to determine if he can fully recover, his surgeon said on Monday after the Formula One driver spent his first night in hospital following a crash.

    The Pole, who went through seven hours of surgery involving seven doctors split into two teams to attend to multiple fractures to his right leg and arm, was put into an induced coma after hitting a church wall at high speed in a rally in Italy.

    The possible recovery time for the hand has been put at around a year if the next few days show the surgery was totally successful.

    “The hand is warm and this means the operation went well,” surgeon Mario Igor Rossello told reporters at the Santa Corona hospital near Genoa.

    “We need at least six days to check if the circulation of the blood in the limb responds as it should.”

    Messages of support have poured in for the 26-year-old Renault driver from across Formula One.

    1. Reuters article was posted as follows:
      MILAN | Mon Feb 7, 2011 10:27am GMT

      Direct link:
      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/02/07/uk-motor-racing-kubica-idUKTRE7161M020110207

  82. Any on board video from Kubica’s car on the accident?

    1. Not so far.. not sure I’d want to see it :S

    2. Oh come on. You don’t want to see that.

    3. I expect that to be with the police to help figure out exactly what happened.

      Not too sure it will be released for viewing even after that is closed. Just think about what it might be showing.

    4. Disgusting. If such video does exist I hope it is never released.

  83. This is terrible. I honestly hope it doesn’t stop his Grand Prix career.

  84. On BBC website
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9389513.stm
    The reserve drivers for 2011 include Bruno Senna – who raced for Hispania last season – and Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who drove for Renault as a replacement for Nelson Piquet Jr in 2009.

    “We are already starting to think and work on a contingency plan,” added Boullier.

    “We don’t know yet, we are actually waiting to know how long it will take because [if it is] a short-term replacement we will take one of our reserve drivers; if he has to be longer we may have to consider different options.”

    It is likely that either of the reserve drivers will be called up for the second pre-season test which starts in Jerez on Thursday

    1. Sounds like poor strategic planning. Why bother having two reserve drivers who if called upon you’d not use.

      I suspect they will go for the Hulk, but I would like to see Bruno given a chance.

      Lets not forget he very nearly signed for Brawn instead of Rubens.

    2. I don’t know why, but I have a good feeling that there might still be hope for him racing in F1 – and I wish him that with all my heart.

      What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I hope this will be the case with Rob, and we will get to see him get better sooner than we expected.

  85. Keith
    what are your thoughts on the driver situation?

    I can’t understand why they would have Grosjean or Senna in the team (both of whom have F1 experience) if there were no real opportunity for them.

    I would like to see Bruno given a chance, and if he doesnt perform then find someone else.

    By Boullier coming out with this, it just reaffirms to me what poor decisions all of the reserve drivers are. If you cant get one driver out of about 5 you have to question your policy no? While nobody would hope that such a terrible accident would come along, it doesnt state much for their strategy on drivers if they keep all of those reserves and then go to the market again.

    Get well soon Robert.

    1. I like potatoes
      7th February 2011, 12:20

      Andy I don’t think it shows a poor decision on testers.

      Boullier said the point in taking the kids on was to give them time in an old F1 car to build up their knowledge so they would be ready to step up when called upon. Nobody saw this coming so soon, so they can’t be blamed for that.

      If its a short term stand in then a junior, relatively inexperienced driver is fine. But if it is for the whole season, they need an experienced head who can develop the car in testing and maximise it in race trim.

      Heidfeld’s got the experience and has to be favourite along with de la Rosa. Will Buxton suggests Anthony Davidson as a good option given how good he is as developing cars.

      It could be Senna’s big chance but will they give him a shot? Grosjean is cup tied, as he has GP2 Asia this weekend and Boullier already said GP2 was Grosjean’s focus this year.

      1. Senna and Roman are both experienced racers, thats my point. Grosjean is already committed.

        They may not be so experienced in F1, but the experience last year counted very little for PDR last year. Kobayashi did really well, despite his lack of experience.

        So if you want someone to help develop the car, I think bring them into the reserve role.

        You could argue that if senna is not ready now, he’ll never be ready. But dont remove the opportunity before it has even happened.

        1. They have not shown their chops in F1 and it would be an expensive training session to go an entire season with 2 drivers (Petrov) that need training and have less input into the car. If they can get a truly experienced F1 driver (Kimi, Hiedfeld, Klien, etc…) then they will have a better chance of scoring points.

          I don’t know why this is shocking, all the teams do it. When Massa was hurt they put Bodoer in for a few races and then pulled Fisi out of FI. Some teams have “experienced” reserve drivers, but most teams have the next generation as reserves so they can learn the ropes…..but that doesn’t mean they are ready for a season.

  86. I guess Heidfeld can replace him for the season, for his experience as compared to Senna and Grosjean.

  87. According to some tweets ‘After the operation Kubica has moved his fingers, recognised parents and girlfriend and responded to doctors, say hospital sources.’
    That would be quite a miracle to be able to move your fingers just hours after leaving operation theatre. There really is hope.

    1. Fingers crossed for him. Its a massive injury for someone who needs to use their hands and particularly their fingers so much.

      Hope the good news keeps coming over the weeks to come…

  88. This reminds me so much of when Sandro Nannini had his helicopter accident not long after finishing 3rd at the 1990 Spanish GP. Hopefully though we’ll see Kubica back and competitive in an F1 car one day.

    Its also why teams are reluctant to have their “investements” doing other dangerous activities such as racing a non-F1 car these days. By Renault allowing Kubica to do this rally they have now left themselves without their lead driver possibly for the season.

  89. Anyone think this may affect his potential Ferrari drive next year as well?

    1. His coming back to F1 at all is still questioned, so I guess that ‘deal'(rumor rather) with Ferrari is off too.

  90. http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.tvn24.pl/-1,1691917,0,1,robert-rozpoznaje-bliskich-stracil-piec–szesc-litrow-krwi,wiadomosc.html&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhjiTmm-ShCRfkmasTXzDvU9Bo9w1w

    Some more insight into how he is doing, though some parts are translated in a weird way. Maybe some polish could fix it?

    All I have hopefully managed to fix myself is that he did not ‘successfully break his neck’ – which sounded way off, they meant ‘femur neck’ I hope.

    1. Also, they have another cockpit video on their website.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79UsFc1exuM&feature=player_embedded

    2. Yep, it’s femur neck. Nothing really new from this article.

      His manager stated that even now it can be said that Rob’s healing is beyond normal.
      He was put again in a coma.

  91. After this incident, it really does hit home how talented Formula One drivers really are in such a dangerous sport

    http://www.sportsloop.blogspot.com/

  92. I wish Kubica all the best in his recovery.

    With regards to who his replacement will be, I think it would be a shame and a vote of no confidence for all reserve drivers if they don’t go with Senna. That’s what his job is there for.

  93. by Christophe Malbranque, French F1 commentator, Kubica managed to move his fingers ! (On Twitter)

    1. That would be absolutely amazing.

      From the link in the polish website posted by Mister Nillionaire it seems he also spoke and the first thing he asked about was how his co driver was doing.

      1. The medical team has reported he can move his fingers to some degree. I half expected to wake up today and hear the worst, as these complex surgeries are as dangerous as the initial injury at times. Yes, that is amazing. All the more because, though we are all mostly focused on his hands and legs, he easily could have died in this accident. Their first task was to secure his life and they managed to do that and still tend to the incredible task of saving his hand. This medical team is truly amazing and I’m certain the treasure and honor they receive for their daily labors are in no way sufficient.

        1. Agree with that.

  94. Article in the Telegraph:

    Robert Kubica crash: drivers who could replace Pole

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/renault/8308233/Robert-Kubica-crash-drivers-who-could-replace-Pole.html

    Not very informative but you can make your own minds up.

  95. no conspiracy theories as of yet regarding Senna ‘luckily’ (not the circumstances anyone approves of) finding himself with an almost certain drive, I am glad to notice

    1. You’ll have to feed this into Google translate, but it’s the report of this morning’s press conference – overall: it was really scary (he lost 5-6 litres of blood!), but given the circumstances things aren’t looking bad.

      http://www.sport.pl/F1/1,96296,9065703,Wypadek_Kubicy__Wszystkie_zakonczenia_nerwowe_zrekonstruowano.html

    2. A certain drive for Senna in Bahrein perhaps. And for the upcoming tests.
      But I don’t think Renault will settle with Petrov and Senna. They’ll have a very good idea of their performance compared to Kubica. So when Boullier states that they most likely may have to find a different solution for a long term replacement, Senna can be sure he won’t be promoted to be the official nr 2 driver. Although I’d love to see Senna drive a race with a proper car to get a true idea of his skills.

      I think they’ll end up with Heidfeld.

  96. I have followed the development re rob since sunday morning and i have conflicting emotions. First and foremost i am relieved that he survived the crash but i am also devastated and worried as the injuries he recieved may put an end to a carreer with so much promise. Robs talent is absolitely unique and his laid back approach to the whole f1 business is really refreshing. I wish rob a fast and total recovery, lets hope only good news will come from the kubica/ renault camp

  97. Is it not time the safety and strength of rally cars was improved ? I cant think who it was a few years ago that had a horrendous accident when a rock or something basically cut through the door and sill, and they don`t seem any better now.

  98. Pole position for Robert Kubica in Bahrain

  99. I think it is the journo’s responsibility to let people who are curious to know what had happened no matter the picture. If people are unhappy with the idea, we all have the choice whether or not to click and view the images

  100. Hi Keith.
    here a link from a camera car showing the guardrail coming out at the back of Robert’s car.
    Robert is one lucky guy, he really cheated death this time.

    http://www.auto.it/autosprint/rally/2011/02/07-7299/La+%E2%80%9Ccamer+car%E2%80%9D+dietro+Kubica

  101. The picture from the Guardian’s article shows how lucky Kubica is to be alive…

  102. Illya Muromets
    10th February 2011, 2:24

    After meeting with Petrov and hearing his complaints about teammate Robert Kubica,
    russian prime minister Vladimir Putin decided to “help” Kubica in his typical Putin
    way. Rober ! Don’t accept any gift from Petrov in hospital !!!

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