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

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  1. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 7th February 2011, 13:13

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

  2. Mister Nillionaire (@mister-nillionaire) said on 7th February 2011, 13:14


    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.

  3. Ainge said on 7th February 2011, 13:18

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


  4. Superted666 said on 7th February 2011, 13:29

    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.

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

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th February 2011, 13:55

      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.

      • DaveW said on 7th February 2011, 14:47

        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.

  6. Shimks said on 7th February 2011, 13:39

    Article in the Telegraph:

    Robert Kubica crash: drivers who could replace Pole


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

  7. 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

    • Maciek said on 7th February 2011, 14:18

      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.


    • Bäremans said on 7th February 2011, 14:37

      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.

  8. Bjorn said on 7th February 2011, 17:11

    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

  9. PhilT said on 7th February 2011, 17:36

    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.

  10. Bartek said on 7th February 2011, 19:41

    Pole position for Robert Kubica in Bahrain

  11. 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

  12. Ranilom said on 8th February 2011, 1:32

    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.


  13. Andy Myers said on 8th February 2011, 18:17

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

  14. Illya Muromets said on 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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