Polish racing driver Robert Kubica will spend at least one whole year recovering from a rally crash he suffered this morning, according to his surgeon.
Kubica, who races for Renault Lotus crashed the Skoda Fabia rally car this morning and was airlifted to hospital suffering serious injuries.
He has spent many hours in surgery, with rumour speculating around the internet about his condition. However tonight, his surgeon has told reporters that he will spend 5 days in intensive care and will need at least one year to rehabilitate his right hand. His hand shattered in the accident, along with fractures to his right arm and leg.
Initially it was suspected the Pole could have his right hand amputated,however surgeons were confident they could save it. His doctor has now said it could take a week to decide if he will regain full functionality.
“We have to wait at least a week to see if his hand survives,” Professor Igor Rossello told Italian media, referring to the likelihood of a return to full functionality. He added that it could take a year for the Pole to be able to use his right arm again.
Racing drivers from around the world have been quick to send in messages of support, and Fernando Alonso has already flown in to visit Robert in hospital. Michael Schumacher is rumoured to be on his way to visit also.
Bruno Senna could well be drafted in to race as Renault Lotus’ spare driver in the short term at least. Whether the team decide to bring in another driver for the season is unknown.
We wish Robert Kubica all the best. Our thoughts and prayers are with him tonight.
UPDATE ON KUBICA’s CONDITION: http://wp.me/p3uiu-11K
Renault Lotus F1 driver Robert Kubica has been airlifted to hospital following a car accident while competing on a rally.
The incident, described as a high speed accident, left the Pole injured and he had to be airlifted to hospital. His co-driver Jakub Gerber was uninjured in the incident.
While he has remained conscious throughout the whole incident, the extent of Kubica’s injuries are as yet unknown. Reports are variable, with some suggesting he has fractured a wrist, while others say he has broken both legs. Speculation as ever with such incidents is rife.
Renault have released a minor statement, with a press conference that has been pushed back to 3pm GMT.
“Robert Kubica suffered an accident at high speed this morning while competing in the Ronde di Andora Rally,” a Renault statement said. “The driver was airlifted to Pietra Ligure Hospital, where he is currently undergoing medical checks. His co-driver is fine. [We] will issue another statement as soon as more information is known about Robert’s condition.”
Kubica is a well known Rally enthusiast, he and other drivers have competed in many events such as this one before. However with the incident potentially ruining the start, or all of his season perhaps drivers will now be banned from competing in such events by their employers.
We will get a post up as soon as the press conference is over this afternoon with more information. Right now though, our thoughts are with Robert.
Russian driver Vitaly Petrov, who had an up-and-down season with Renault in 2010 has cleared up all speculation about his future following an announcement that he has secured a two yar race seat deal with the Lotus Renault team.
He raced with Renault last season, and will continue alongside popular Polish driver Robert Kubica as we approach the new year. Renault has been undergoing some changes recently, announcing a partnership with the Lotus Cars group meaning the team is now known as Lotus Renault. They will be running in classic John Player Special style liveries next year.
“We are very pleased to confirm that Vitaly will be staying with us for 2011 and 2012, in order that both he and the team can build on a promising 2010 campaign,” Team Principal Eric Boullier said.
“The entire team has been working flat-out over the past months to improve our competitiveness, and a stable driver line-up is essential to achieving our targets.
“Robert Kubica provides a remarkable benchmark for both speed and consistency, and we are certain that Vitaly will move closer to this level of performance next year.”
Team chairman Gerard Lopez said:
“Last season, he showed on several occasions that he clearly has the potential to deliver,” Lopez said. “It was just a matter of putting everything together during the same weekend, race after race, and this will be his target for 2011.”
Kimi Raikkonen and Adrian Sutil had been linked with the Renault seat.
Lotus, the car company have unveiled their plans to team up with the former Renault Formula One team for 2011, under the name of Lotus Renault GP.
Group Lotus had already expressed a desire to return to Formula One, and following the Renault car company selling its stake in the F1 team back to Genii Capital, it allowed Genii to sell it on to Lotus.
Now at this point, you are probably very confused as Lotus are already in F1. Well, sort of. The Lotus team we have seen racing this season have been running under a name that they bought, they are not in any way affiliated with the Lotus Group who run the car company. This has led Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus to begin court proceedings on Tony Fernandes who runs Team Lotus. Fernandes, the boss of Air Asia maintains that he will run his team in 2011 as Team Lotus, who will also be supplied with Renault engines. And just to make it more confusing, both teams are planning to run with classic black and gold John Player liveries. Excellent.
We aren’t going to get involved with who we think is right in this situation here on TheF1Fanatics Blog but we hope they sort it out as it is going to be mightly confusing next season for fans, commentators and drivers alike.
Dany Bahar told Autosport: “I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1 is the very pinnacle of open-wheel racing.
“We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position once and for all: we are Lotus and we are back.”
Meanwhile, Gerard Lopez, chairman of Renault F1 Team and head of Genii Capital added: “We are delighted that we can now go public with the news that we will be racing as Lotus Renault GP in 2011.
“It is extremely exciting to begin a new era for the team in partnership with Group Lotus, and we will continue to enjoy a strong relationship with Renault over the coming seasons. It is a tribute to the excellent work this year by the team in Enstone that we have been able to attract both major sponsorship and new investment for a very bright future.”
Group Lotus have the rights to use their name with the Renault team until 2017.
Autosport have provided this mock-up of what the 2011 Lotus Renault GP car could look like.