Robert Kubica is close to being in a position where he could make a return to F1 machinery according to the surgeon who operated on his injured hand.
The Pole has been left on the sidelines since his rallying accident back in February, which has forced him to miss the 2011 season and left to question marks about his future career.
While reports last week had suggested that Kubica may need a 'few months' more to recover – which would have put his chances of competing in 2012 at even greater risk – Dr Igor Rossello has now said that the Renault driver is close to being in a position where he can sample an F1 machine and see how competitive he is likely to be in future.
"We can now think about getting him back as soon as possible into a car,' he told the Polish radio station Trojce
. “Sorry, into a racing car, because he is already in a road car. His recovery is a miracle but the unknown thing is whether he will be able to be as fast.
"We still have to do a small intervention for improving the mobility of his wrist, as with this type of accident the hand is never as flexible as it was before. Then it will take a lot of exercise.
"But he will be able to drive his Formula One car again and press all the buttons — we're talking about a racing driver, not a pianist."
Rossello added that only once Kubica has been able to get behind the wheel would he be able to see if a return to racing is possible.
"I look at him and I can't stop wondering how well it has all gone; all the breaks and the wounds have healed, the only question is whether he will drive as he did before. He will have some limitations; remember that we considered amputation.
"But that will be assessed by the (F1) specialists. We have done our job perfectly."