Kubica injured in rally crash
Renault F1 driver Robert Kubica has suffered multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand while competing in a rally in Italy.
Last Updated: 06/02/11 7:32pm
Renault Formula One driver Robert Kubica suffered multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand in an accident while competing in a rally in Italy on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Pole was heading to the start of the Ronde di Andora rally near Genoa when his Skoda Fabia car went off the road at high speed and hit a church wall.
Co-driver Jacub Gerber escaped unhurt but Kubica had to be removed from the wreckage and taken by helicopter to the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure, where he later underwent surgery.
Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli admitted the condition of the driver's right hand was giving particular cause for concern but sounded optimistic that he would eventually recover.
"The surgeons are trying to restore the functions of his right hand," Morelli said. "They have already revascularized the limb and repaired the bone structure.
"Now they have to think about the muscular functions but Robert has strong character and he will make it."
Morelli added that the "clinical situation isn't easy" but denied there was a risk of amputation.
"At this stage there is no such risk," he said. "We're talking about the functionality."
Earlier, Renault confirmed in a statement: "After undergoing extensive medical checks this morning, Robert Kubica has been diagnosed with multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand. He is currently undergoing surgery at the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure.
"Robert suffered a high-speed accident this morning while competing in the Ronde di Andora Rally."
Assuming the likelihood that he is unable to race in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 13, then Renault may decide to field either of their reserve drivers, Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean, alongside team-mate Vitaly Petrov.
Kubica, who set the quickest time during a three-day F1 test held in Valencia earlier this week, finished eighth in last year's drivers' championship and has one victory to his name at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
Twelve months prior to that, the then BMW Sauber driver escaped from a massive crash in the same race with little more than concussion.
He also suffered serious injuries as a passenger in a road accident in 2003 that left him with titanium bolts in an arm.
Kubica is a keen rally fan who has entered several events in the past and even mentioned the possibility of making it his career post-Formula One.
F1 drivers used Twitter to express support for their colleague, with double world champion Fernando Alonso saying: "Let's all support Robert Kubica, who suffered an accident today. Besides a great driver, he is a great person."
"I'm thinking of Robert, wish him all the best and hope to see him soon on the track and especially off-track as a friend," said Virgin Racing's Timo Glock.
Williams driver Rubens Barrichello added: "I would like to ask you for your best wishes to Kubica. He is being operated right now. We all like him and he deserves all the best."