Kubica’s recovery could take a year, surgeon says

2011 F1 season

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

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

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 7th February 2011, 2:47

    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.

  2. Nikhil said on 7th February 2011, 3:46

    how bout fisichella… replacing kubica

  3. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 7th February 2011, 4:30

    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.

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

  5. Sergey said on 7th February 2011, 5:43

    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?

  6. Argent said on 7th February 2011, 6:10

    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.

  7. Stefan said on 7th February 2011, 6:41

    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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th February 2011, 6:52

      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.

  8. Peter said on 7th February 2011, 6:44

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

  9. Stefan said on 7th February 2011, 6:51

    @ 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…

  10. Peter said on 7th February 2011, 6:54

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 7th February 2011, 7:14

    “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.

    • Benny said on 7th February 2011, 7:19

      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?

      • Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 7th February 2011, 14:53

        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.

    • bosyber said on 7th February 2011, 9:09

      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.

  13. Ronman said on 7th February 2011, 7:20

    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

  14. Benny said on 7th February 2011, 7:27

    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 :(

  15. Marc Connell said on 7th February 2011, 7:29

    Im just glad theres a chance he can drive again.

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