Posted on September 9, 2011
Screen shot 2011-09-09 at 16.39.28

Daniel Morelli, the manager of Polish driver Robert Kubica, has just delivered an upbeat assessment of his condition, saying, “We have no more concern on the final outcome of the recovery.”

Pressed to explain what exactly he meant by that, he said that he had “no doubts” that the Pole would recover fully from the nerve damage to his right hand sustained in his rally accident in February.

There were some concerns about the range of movement he might have prior to the most recent operation on his right elbow. But having gained full mobility as a result of the intervention, neurosurgeons now say the way is clear for him to recover.

The next steps are that he will undergo four more weeks of intensive therapy to help build muscle strength in his right arm; he is currently doing five to six hours a day, seven days a week.

The target is for Kubica to drive either in an F1 simulator or some kind of racing car in October and then if he feels that he is able to move forward, the team has said it will organise a test in a 2009 F1 car, which is permitted under the testing restriction rules. This would continue until the new season’s testing begins on February 7th 2012.

Morelli made it clear that, although Kubica does not have a contract with the Renault team for 2012, he has had assurances from team boss Eric Boullier that there is a seat for him, if he is able to perform at the same level as before, “Lotus Renault GP has given us assurances that a seat for Robert is definitely available,” he said. Currently that seat is occupied by Bruno Senna, having replaced Nick Heidfeld from Spa onwards. Senna is in for the rest of the season. Morelli said that Kubica will not make a return to the F1 paddock this season and will only do so when he is there “in a helmet” ready to race again.

“It’s good news,” said Morelli. “Now we need nature to do its work. The nerves must complete their recovery. But it’s just a question of time. He will decide when his condition will be okay to drive. He has never lost the feeling that he will be back.”

His functionality and movement is still restricted; he is able to hold objects in his right hand, but not squeeze them and he has been able to use his hands to play video games.

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Robert Kubica’s manager: “No doubts” he will recover fully from injury
30 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Ram
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 4:47 pm 

    Kubica for 2012 .. hope this adversity makes him more determined than never … there was no question about his talent … :-)

    [Reply]

    wayne Reply:

    I too desperately hope for a full and complete recovery from Kubica so we have the pleasure of watching him on track again. However, while it’s not popular, I do stand by my original opinion that he was reckless and a touch selfish to indulge this hobby with the hopes of an entire F1 team and millions in investment built around him for this season. Tallented drivers work all their life and never get a shot at what Kubica risked.

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  2.   2. Posted By: Lalit
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 5:07 pm 

    James -

    That is excellent excellent news.

    I also like the way that Robert and his group of insiders (if i can call it that) as well as his employers and the all the media people in general have kept a low profile during his rehabilitation. This is surely helping not provide any roadblocks in his recovery.

    Wish you the best Robert in your quest to gain that F1 World Championship that you so deserve.

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  3.   3. Posted By: Roberto
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 5:19 pm 

    He has been extremely lucky having survived huge crashes during his career, there have been in the past incredible stories of drivers making amazing comebacks after accidents (i.e. Nikki Lauda, Schumacher, etc) i wish him fully recover and make a comebakc in style.

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  4.   4. Posted By: Curro
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 6:13 pm 

    Great news. A little bit of apprehension as to how he’ll cope both physically and mentally, as there is clearly much expectation. But he’s a tough man so…

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  5.   5. Posted By: Jo Torrent
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 6:17 pm 

    These are great news (if what Morelli says is true). I’m very happy for him, I never thought he would make it back in F1.

    That would mean Senna will be either in a Virgin or a Williams next year if he can deliver like he did in Spa, which is bad news for Grosjean who might struggle to secure a seat.

    Maybe Williams would be reluctant to put 2 South Americans in both seats however. Wait & see.

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  6.   6. Posted By: RK
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 6:19 pm 

    I remember when your friend describe us Robert’s future in July. And as I’ve wrote few days ago: he hasn’t had right.

    So, James. Time’s showed.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    As I’ve said all along, my friend the surgeon advised me that it would take a miracle for RK to come back from that and race an F1 car as well as he did before. I’m delighted that he’s mending. We wait to see if he comes back as he was before and if he does no-one will be happier than I.

    [Reply]

    ronmon Reply:

    I think that all of us here are happy to hear that Robert is getting better. It would be hard to find a more likeable guy in F1 and his talent is among the best.

    However, this is coming from his manager/agent whose business is selling his services. It is bound to be very optimistic. He cannot squeeze anything with his right hand. How about feeling returning to his fingers? Driving an F1 car is like playing a saxophone. Digital dexterity is of huge importance, as well as sensing feedback from steering input.

    Let’s hope for the best, but he still has a long way to go.

    [Reply]

    PeteM Reply:

    I agree totally. Optimism and reality are two different things time will tell.

    [Reply]

    Rubinho's Keyfob Reply:

    I agree with what you say with regard to the source – his manager is likely to put a positive spin on it. However, the fact that the whole thing has been kept low-key so far implies to me that if they are now prepared to send an upbeat message it is not without some substance. I certainly hope so, Robert is one of my top 5 drivers.

    I am not a doctor. However, regarding your other point, I believe there are two aspects: Nerve damage (affecting motor skills – the brain’s signals achieving the desired effect) and muscle condition (strength and power).

    If Robert is able to play video games, that implies that his fine motor skills are returning. As muscles only exist to articulate joints, if his joints have been “frozen” for some time then it makes sense that his related muscle condition would have deteriorated.

    Perhaps this is why they are confident enough to now make this announcement – a “clumsy but strong” situation would mean things were still uncertain. A “dexterous but weak” situation gives a better indication of a positive outcome (building muscle naturally through exercise is more straightforward than fixing nerves artificially with surgery).

    [Reply]

    Michael C Reply:

    @ronmon: “Driving an F1 car is like playing a saxophone.”

    Have you actually done both to know? :)

    [Reply]

    RK Reply:

    I disagree with with entirely.
    The point is Morelli said us yesterday that in next 4 weeks Robert will get back his physical strength.
    Last surgery gave to Robert possibility of hard physical training, which restore his strengh. So after 4 weeks, Robert will be able to squeeze objects.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Dante
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 6:22 pm 

    Great news! I will look forward to seeing him compete again.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: rvd
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 7:01 pm 

    I’m very much looking forward to his return.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Dom
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 7:12 pm 

    Great news – I hope it all goes well for him and we get to see him back in F1 soon.

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: Tim
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 7:16 pm 

    Good news – everybody, no matter what team or driver they support, wants Kubica back racing an F1 car.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Andy c
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 7:31 pm 

    If it’s a question of willpower and commitment to complete the recovery then Roberts your man. Let’s all hope to see him back again soon.

    Great driver

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  12.   12. Posted By: Fulveo Ballabeo
        Date: September 9th, 2011 @ 10:30 pm 

    I truly wish Robert the best, hope he makes a speedy/full recovery, and would love to see him back to his best in the cockpit of a competitive F1 car.

    That said, a wise man once said, “The devil is always in the last tenth or two of a second”.

    With issues of nerve damage, range of movement, mobility, functionality, and muscle strength (these are significant things), it’s hard to believe anyone in that situation could achieve that critical last tenth or two.

    I hope I’m wrong, and would love to see Robert perform at the same level as before.

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  13.   13. Posted By: Michael S
        Date: September 10th, 2011 @ 3:49 am 

    I am glad to hear he is doing great. However, I can’t see him ever being top shelf as a driver again after what he went through. F1 comes down to tenths, hundredths and sometimes thousandths of a second. If he just loses .3 a lap it could be the difference in being at the sharp edge of F1 and not even being in F1

    I really hope I am wrong though…

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  14.   14. Posted By: darson
        Date: September 10th, 2011 @ 1:06 pm 

    Optimistic information. But I have a little addition. Robert’s able to play video games, but – also – he used quite advanced simulator in Formula Medicine. As Morelli said – it was used by bunch of drivers, but all the records are Kubica’s now :) He’s a robot, trust me.

    Sorry for my english, greetings from Poland :)

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Casimir
        Date: September 10th, 2011 @ 2:13 pm 

    Kubica is this man’s source of income, I couldn’t imagine him not promoting his chances of returning.

    Kubica has already overcome fairly large odds to get to this point. I remain sceptical of a full restoration of his abilities, but if it happens even better for F1.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    He’s a very savvy operator, Daniel. He wouldn’t put himself or his client in a position of false expectation. He will recover. Whether he’s as fast an F1 driver as before remains to be seen and Daniel has made no promises about a comeback

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Josh
        Date: September 11th, 2011 @ 3:59 am 

    Senna will stay, kubica won’t bring enough money to the joke that is ‘renault’ ‘lotus” grand prix…

    Good to hear shishkaBob is going to be absolutely okay though, he’s an old school racing driver.

    [Reply]

    Adam Reply:

    You have no idea how much money can Kubica’s comeback give. Everyone in the paddock and whole automotive world will focus on Kubica, after hes back on the track.
    If he’s performence will be as good as it was before the accident, he will bring a huge amount of sponsors within he’s comeback.

    So I guess, if Senna will deliver as he did in Belgium qualifies then, Vitaly Petrov the guy whos paying for his seat will be the first one to leave at 2012.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Adrian Newey Jnr
        Date: September 12th, 2011 @ 1:59 am 

    James – is there any chance another team will sign Robert?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    There’s another team very interested to see if he comes back to his best. Bur Renault would be the ones to run him in 2012.

    [Reply]

    PM Reply:

    James,

    Isn’t this ‘another team’ wearing red suits, perhaps?

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: simon
        Date: September 12th, 2011 @ 8:31 am 

    @ James Allen,

    Are you aware on the medical side of F1, FIA and driving, would Kubica be allowed to take steroids
    to increase his recovery process.

    Hospitals give steroids to open surgery patients all the time to help recover.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: PM
        Date: September 12th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm 

    As an outcome from DM words and questions asked, RK is able to workout (or play, whatever you want to call it) on Formula Medicine simulators. I had an impression those are like more advanced video games but that also means dexterity of his hand is not bad at all – and strength is something that can be gained in no-time.

    Also like James mentioned it would make no sense form DM to make false predictions or set unrealistic expectations and publish them, both for DM and RK.

    Lets just hope they won’t rush for getting RK into F1 2009 car just to impress Lotus Renault management before he will be fully ready and fit.

    [Reply]

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