Lotus Renault team boss Eric Boullier has said that it may be another six weeks before anyone knows whether Robert Kubica will be fit to return to racing following his pre-season rallying accident in Italy.
The Pole was recently discharged from hospital [see story here
], where he spent eleven weeks recuperating from surgery to repair a broken leg and arm and reattach a partially-severed hand, but Boullier is keen that no-one rushes into a hurried prognosis on a possible return to action. Although Kubica is already working on his fitness as part of a structured rehabilitation programme at his home in Monaco, his employer stresses that there is still a long road ahead of him.
"I spent an hour on the 'phone with him this week and he's obviously very relieved to be back home, relieved to get back to a normal life - even if he has to work every day on the rehabilitation," Boullier told Reuters
on day one of the Turkish Grand Prix, "He's working very hard, six to seven hours per day, and I think we should know more by mid-June [about] what to expect and when.
"The injury was quite bad. Bones and muscles are easy to fix, if I may say this, but nerves are a different story. You need to be cautious in the development of this. So this is why they need to take time, do it properly and monitor and handle it properly."
News of Kubica's release from hospital made the Pole a topic of conversation at Thursday's pre-event press conference in Istanbul, with those drivers present all fulsome in their praise for their colleague.
"I think everyone – all the drivers – have paid a compliment to him and I second what they've all said," Lewis Hamilton commented, reflecting the general tone, "I've known him since I was about 13. We raced together as soon as I got to Italy, so I've known him quite a long time and we generally came up through the ranks together, so perhaps I've known him a little bit longer than some others. But I think that, as we got to F1, I've known him perhaps a little bit less because you have less time for that kind of thing.
"Obviously, he's a great talent in the sport and he definitely deserves to be here, so I hope that he has a very, very fast recovery. No doubt he has the right people behind him to help him recover in the best way. And knowing him, and how competitive he is, he will be doing everything he can to get back on the scene, so I look forward to welcoming him back, the same as everyone else."