Robert Kubica In Critical Condition Following Rally Crash
By Brandon Turkus
February 09, 2011
(Photo Credit: Gregory Moine)
Polish Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica was seriously injured in a crash at the Ronde di Andora Rally in Italy. The Lotus Renault GP driver was piloting a Skoda Fabia Super 2000 rally car on the opening day of the event, when he was caught out in damp conditions, collided with a wall, and then ran into a barrier which impaled the Skoda’s footwell.
Kubica was airlifted from the rally stage to the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure, Italy, where he underwent surgery to repair fractures in his right arm, hand, and leg. Doctors are predicting the recovery and rehabilitation period could last anywhere from five months to a year, casting serious doubts on his ability to race in the 2011 season. The most recent update from Italy indicates that Robert has been brought out of a medically induced coma and is responsive and able to communicate. Doctors are still not certain of what, if any, lasting effects there will be on his racing ability.
Like many F1 drivers, 26-year-old Kubica began his career in karting, winning multiple championships in Poland, before capturing the Italian Junior Karting Championship in 1998. In 2000, the Pole was recruited as a test driver in the Formula Renault series, where he captured his first win and gained a position in Renault’s driver development program. In 2006, he made the jump to the big leagues, earning a test driver role for BMW Sauber F1.
Kubica had his first competitive F1 outing after teammate Jacques Villeneuve complained of headaches leading up to the Hungarian Grand Prix. After impressing in Hungary, he finished out the remaining five races of the season, and was moved up to a full-time race seat in 2007. He captured his, and BMW Sauber’s, first win at the Canadian GP in 2008 (a race he crashed out of in a spectacular, barrel-rolling fashion in 2007). He captured six more podiums in 2008, and finished the season in an impressive fourth place, behind Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, and Kimi Räikönnen. In 2010, Kubica made the jump to Renault GP, racing alongside Russian rookie Vitaly Petrov. Thanks to podium finishes in Monaco and Belgium, as well as an extremely quick and consistent qualifying pace, he completed 2010 in eighth place.
Kubica has been a bit of a favorite here in the Winding Road
offices, and we all wish him a speedy recovery. The Winding Road
art department is currently in the process of designing a card to be sent to Robert via the Lotus Renault GP factory in Enstone. We encourage all of our readers to head over to the Winding Road forums
to attach their own "Get Well" messages. If you wish to send a personal card, you can do so through the following address:
Lotus Renault GP
Whiteways Technical Centre
Oxfordshire, OX7 4EE