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”

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. Looking a that video from Jarek ( 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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