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.