Fernando Alonso has revealed that he was 'surprised' and 'shocked' by Robert Kubica's recent rally crash.

The Lotus Renault GP man is now on the mend following his accident in Italy earlier this month. However he faces a long road to recovery and could be out of action for anything up to twelve months.

Speaking in an interview with CNN World Sport, Alonso added that it wasn't clear initially if the Pole would survive.

"We've know each other now for fifteen years because we were racing together in go-karts," Alonso said. "Obviously it was a surprise, a shock to hear about his accident. And the first moments, to be honest, speaking with his manager, it was not so clear, the programme, and it was also not so clear that he was perfectly okay and that he would survive.

"I tried to arrive to the hospital and hear first-hand what exactly was the injuries. Now it seems that he is recovering well, so we hope to see Kubica very, very soon racing with us," he added.

Since Kubica's accident a number of motorsport luminaries have criticised Lotus Renault GP for allowing its star driver to go rallying [see separate story - click here]. However, Alonso was quick to defend his friend and rival.

"To be honest all the things we do every day, there is something with risk," added the Spaniard. "You know, I train everyday with a bicycle. It was two weeks ago, a friend of mine who was coming with me with the bike. There was a truck that came maybe one centimetre from us here on the shoulder.

"You know if this happens a few metres ahead of us maybe we crash with that car, so maybe that day people say: 'Okay, bicycle is dangerous. Right, you're going to astray at home twenty-four hours a day'.

"It's impossible for us. We need to spend some time out, some adrenaline out and rally is one of the sports, from a drivers' point of view, that is good for training so... [it is] difficult [to criticise]."

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