Kubica on the mend


ROME, February 7 – Doctors treating Polish Formula One driver Robert Kubica, who was seriously injured in a high-speed rally crash at the weekend, said it would take at least six days to ascertain how permanent is the damage to his right hand.

The 26-year-old Lotus Renault driver was at the wheel of a Skoda Fabia, taking part in the Ronde di Andora Rally in Liguria in the north-west of Italy, when his vehicle left the road and crashed into a church wall.

He was airlifted to the Santa Corona hospital in nearby Pietra Ligure where he underwent seven hours of surgery for multiple injuries, the worst of which was to his right hand which was partially severed by a metal railing.

"We will need at least six days to verify if the blood is properly circulating in the hand," said Doctor Igor Rossello, the surgeon who led the operation team.

"His hand is warm which indicates that the operation went well and all being well it will take him a year of re-education to recover the full movement in it."

Kubica is reported to have taken a bend at speed when he lost control and hit a guard rail which broke down the drivers’ door and bent the roll-bar.

His co-driver, Jacub Gerber, emerged from the wreck unhurt but Kubica remained inside until emergency services removed him from the wreckage.

With the start of the new F1 season just five weeks away, it’s likely that Lotus Renault reserve driver Bruno Senna will be called in to take Kubica’s place at the Bahrain opener.

It is not the first time Kubica has been involved in a horror crash, after he hit a wall at 300kph during the Canadian Grand Prix in 2007.

Driving for Sauber, Kubica slid off the circuit and crashed into a wall, before rebounding across the track in a barrel roll and hitting another barrier.

Kubica, however, was not seriously injured, sustaining nothing more serious than a sprained ankle and slight concussion. He missed only one Grand Prix after the incident.