Surgeons in Italy are currently battling to save Robert Kubica's F1 career following the Pole's high-speed rallying smash this morning, with his manager Daniele Morelli confirming that the principal goal is to 're-establish the functionality of his right hand'.
Kubica suffered what his employer Lotus Renault GP has described as 'multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand', with the latter of most concern and rumours even flying around about possible amputation.
The Skoda Fabia RS that the 26-year-old was driving crashed into the wall of a church less than five kilometres into the Ronde di Andora Rally. Whilst co-driver Jakub Gerber escaped unharmed, Kubica had to be carefully extracted from the wreckage by firemen and was subsequently airlifted to the nearby Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure close to Genoa. He is presently undergoing surgery.
The fear is that having badly broken his arm when he was a passenger in a serious road accident back in 2003 – leaving him with titanium bolts inserted – this latest break could be a fatal blow to the former Canadian Grand Prix winner's F1 career.
“Surgeons are trying to re-establish the functionality of his right hand,” Morelli is quoted as having said by the BBC
. “Robert is very strong, and he will do it.”
As speculation now rises as to who is likely to replace Kubica, given that he is all-but certain to have to miss the beginning of the F1 2011 World Championship campaign at the very least – with reserve drivers Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean understood to be at the top of the list – some of his rivals have sent messages of support, with close friend Fernando Alonso even going to the hospital to visit him.
“I would like to ask you for your best wishes to Kubica,” Williams F1 star Rubens Barrichello wrote on his Twitter
page. “He is being operated right now. We all like him, and he deserves all the best.”
“All my support to Robert Kubica,” added Scuderia Toro Rosso ace Sébastien Buemi. “I am with you, man.”