Kubica's manager confirms injuries are serious

Medical condition update on Robert Kubica post his crash at the Ronde di Andorin rally in Italy.

New reports have emerged about the condition of Lotus Renault driver Robert Kubica, who sustained serious injuries after he had crashed his car during a rally in Italy earlier today. The Formula One driver from Poland injuries are indeed serious, his manager Davide Morello has admitted Kubica risks losing the functionality of his right arm and hand. Morello did also confirm there will be no total amputation of his arm, as was suggested in earlier reports. He also confirmed Kubica's family is on their way to the Italian Santa Corona di Pietra Ligure hospital.

Robert Kubica and Eric Boullier, Team Principal Lotus Renault GP at the recent unveiling of the new 2011 R31..
Photo by xpb.cc.

The medical team in charge of his surgery, professor Igor Rossello and Kubica's doctor, Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli, are now performing what was described as 'delicate' surgery on the badly injured Pole, and it is expected the surgery will be finished around 20.00 hrs local time.

As opposed to earlier reports, Kubica's Skoda Fabia S2000 did not crash into a church wall, but into a metal guardrail when the 26-year old Pole was on his way to the start of the Ronde di Andorin rally in Italy. The crash occurred in one of the hairpins in the region of Testico in the Andorran hills. Apparently, a tree root that had raised a part of the asphalt was the reason why Kubica lost control of his car, his Skoda lost grip, turned 80 degrees and hit the sharp end of the guardrail very hard.

It appears that the car hitting the sharp end of the guardrail is the reason why Kubica's injuries are so severe.

Pictures show a badly damaged car, with the most extensive damage on the drivers' side where the guardrail had partly entered the cockpit of the car. According to Italian reports, fire fighters had to remove the engine from the car to free Kubica. Navigator Jacub Gerber was unhurt in the crash, and he stated that Kubica was initially conscious immediately after the crash, but slipped in and out of consciousness 'without having knowledge of what had happened'.

It is now also clear Kubica will have a long way to go to recover from his injuries, and he will certainly not be driving for Lotus Renault at the start of the season on March 13 in Bahrain. Asked about which reserve driver team would prefer, Lotus Renault team principal Eric Boullier had last week said that from the two reserve drivers, Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean, Senna was the most ready to replace any of the regular drivers.

Boullier commented, "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 traveling to Italy tomorrow, along with Vitaly Petrov, in order to see Robert and tell him that we are impatiently waiting for his return."

Editor's note: Post surgery

After the surgery at the San Paolo Hospital in Savona, Kubica remains in an induced coma and is stable but still listed in serious condition.

Professor Mario Igor Rossello, Director for the Regional Centre of Hand Surgery at the hospital said, "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."

See also: Kubica hospitalized after serious crash