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Long road ahead for Kubica after new injury
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Jan 2012   |  9:04 pm GMT  |  71 comments

Troubled Polish driver Robert Kubica is back in hospital, according to reports on the BBC, after a fall on ice near his home in Italy.

The 27 year old, who was recovering from multiple fractures and a partially severed right forearm in a rally accident almost a year ago, slipped on ice near his home and reopened a fracture in his right leg, setting back his rehabilitation further.

According to the BBC he will need an operation to insert a metal screw above his ankle, plus more time in plaster.

Kubica split with his long time doctor and ally Riccardo Ceccarelli before Christmas and was going his own way on rehabilitation from the accident.

With Kubica now out of contract, Ferrari has been monitoring his situation, with some strong Kubica supporters within the team. Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said that the team had no plans to test the driver in the near future with a view to him replacing Felipe Massa in 2013, as has been widely speculated in Italy,

“Robert is a great driver, but he had very severe injuries and he is still working to get back to normal living, ” said the Ferrari team boss. “We need to wait to see. That kind of injury takes a long time to recover from.”

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71 Comments
  1. Seán Craddock says:

    Sad news, there still seems to be something missing without Kubica on the grid. I hope he makes a full recovery!

  2. Luca says:

    luck doesn’t come much worse than that….

  3. Alex_D says:

    The guy is very unfortunate…if there is such a thing as fortune…

    1. Liam in Sydney says:

      Yes, misfortune.

  4. Fábio says:

    Just one word: shit!
    Best wishes for Kubica.

  5. Sebee says:

    Is this the unluckiest guy in the world?

    Robert, please – get a treadmill and a stationary bike. Satellite TV. Stay at home and take your time recovering! Everyone is rooting for you. Don’t push it. Don’t rush it!

    1. KerbRider says:

      def not the unluckiest guy in the world. He still has a house, money, family etc. Lots more with a lot less.

      1. Sebee says:

        You’re right. But is there any doubt on your mind that the only thing he wants is a fast F1 car? He seems like the type of guy that would trade the houses, the money, everything but family – for a seat in the second Red Bull.

      2. MISTER says:

        Why you automatically asume everybody wants to drive a RB?

      3. Richard D says:

        I think at this stage he’d be happy with a seat in the second HRT.

      4. KerbRider says:

        All any F1 driver wants is the best car. As is the competitors nature, that extra advantage is what we all want to beat the next person.Robert isnt the exception here.
        If i was a f1 driver, for 2012 id want the McLaren.

      5. Ann says:

        Well said. He is definatley not themost unluckiest guy in the world

    2. Wayne says:

      No he rerally isn’t the unluckiest guy in the world. He may never race a F1 car again but there are people starving and dieing out in the real world. Besides, you make your own luck sometimes, and if you decide to risk the F1 career that thousands of drivers work and often struggle all their lives for and never achieve, on nothing more than a hobby, you have to accept the situation if that risk does not pay off.

      Good luck Robert, would love to see you on the grid again some day.

      1. nathan says:

        Calm down everyone. The expression “unluckiest guy in the world” is used losely in certain situations. Im pretty sure the OP wasnt comparing kubicas luck with starving families with no home

  6. Mark Hauler says:

    Sadly, I think we’ve seen the last of Kubica as a driver for any team in F1. Webber came back after a severe fracture, of course, but Kubica’s re injury just puts him further behind in an already lengthy recuperation

    1. Matt W says:

      Sadly I agree. Even if he manages to fully recover I fear he will have lost that little bit of an edge that made him stand out. In the modern era I fear it is impossible to go 18 months without any kind of competition and return with your speed intact. Schumacher struggles despite keeping his toe in the water during his sabattical. I wish Robert a speedy recovery.

      1. Chris says:

        His way back to a top team is in doubt, but a williams/caterham team will no doubt take a chance with him. Sad thing for Robert, he has already prooved himself a top driver, he will simply have to do it again!!!

  7. Ivan says:

    I really like Kubica, but I am having horrible memories of Allesandro Nannini back in the 90′s. I just hope he can make a full recovery and fulfill his F1 ambitions.

  8. Charlie B says:

    I heard the news earlier and feared the worst. I don’t think this will be the difference to him coming back or not. Drivers have come back from broken legs, Kubica’s main problem is the nerves in his hand. I still hope to see him race again but I am a realist.

  9. Andrew Carter says:

    He should have stayed in the UK, no threat of ice around here at all!

    In all seriousness though, this is definitely unfortunet news that he could have done without, lets hope that in the coming months he’ll finally be able to get over this rehab and back into a race car.

  10. Mike J says:

    That’s sad and untimely news. I know a lot of people were still hoping for a comeback for Kubica and hopefully this is only a minor set back. His endeavours certainly brought my polish wife and her friends closer to F1. However the longer he is out the harder it will be for him. I suppose the one bright light for him is that both Ferrari and Lotus (Renault) still are saying that they would consider him next year. Hopefully he is mentally strong enough to get back from this setback. If he is, he will be in good standing when he eventually sits in an F1 car again.

    James – with his split with his long term doctor amicable?. Is there any more solid info on his physical condition before this accident.

    Certainly not a good time of the year for Kubica of late (and reinforces my view to my wife – working/walking in the garden can be hazardous to your health!!!).

  11. Trent says:

    Not good news. This is reminding me all too much of Sandro Nannini….one win with the promise of so much more, but we never got to find out.

  12. tom in adelaide says:

    Sad news. Can’t help but think that he pushed too hard too soon.

  13. Andy says:

    Oh dear, this is sad news. I wish him a successful recovery, but now fear the worse. While accidents can happen to anybody at any time, has Kubica’s understandable wish to get back, meant he’s been pushing himself too far too fast. Maybe the split from his Doctor is telling in this regard.

    Sincerely hope he manages a full recovery, and my very best wishes to Robert and his family.

  14. Martin Taylor says:

    Such a shame. Really start to wonder if he will ever make it back to F1.

  15. Borg says:

    This is like loosing a Poker Turnament in on the river to a one outer, what bad luck!

    I hope Robert is strong enough mentally to deal with this. I hope his goal and focus is to get healthy not on returning to F1. Because if F1 only is on his mind I fear he’s in for a disappointment. What heartbreak to have been so close to the spoils and to loose it in such a self-inflicted fashion. All the surgery, pain killers, anasthetics…aweful.

  16. SP says:

    Very sad to hear this news :( I so want him to come back!

    Many good memories of Robert. One where he held back Raikkonen with some brilliant defensive driving and super late braking.

    Another one was a few years back during the Monaco GP. It started raining and most of the drivers really backed off. RK on the other hand found grip where others couldnt and made significant time throughout all sectors. It was quite impressive!

    Finally, this was around the time when press were talking/asking about driver salaries. RK was prompted with a question and his reply was something along the lines of “All I need is food, a roof over my head and a fast/racing car. That’s all I need. That’s all I’ll ever need.”

    Wishing him all the best and a swift recovery! And eventually a return to the F1 grid :D

  17. shane says:

    I said it before, many months ago, and I’ll say it again. Sadly i don’t see him driving an F1 car competitively again.

  18. Paul H says:

    What was his condition like before the fall? Not heard a progress report for a while and it seems rather odd that someone with such severe injury issues is out walking on icy terrain in the first place.

    I love watching Kubica race, I really hope he gets past this ok and takes his time to recover properly and give himself the best chance of a long career without taking unnecessary risks along the way. Note I say unnecessary before arguing he is a racing driver.

    As much as I don’t like Ferrari he is one of the few drivers I believe would fit in there and do well regardless of Alonso.

  19. goferet says:

    Oi, and I thought poor ol’ Mark Webber had all the bad luck in the world.

    This is astonishing news and it either means somebody has put a bad spell on Kubica or maybe the Universe is trying to show the Pole out the sport (in a very aggressive manner, I might add)

    Very sorry for Kubica & his family for this isn’t a back marker/ no hoper we’re talking about but a driver that had a very promising future infact a driver that Lewis Hamilton upon arrival in the sport once said… ”He’s the one chap am scared of”

    But I really wonder, maybe Kubica does take unnecessary risks for I mean, what the bloody hell was he doing on that ice. Sheesh, Beyond belief!

    So Ferrari bailed on Kubica sometime ago, no surprises there. I believe they will find some way to convince the share holders to grant the beloved Massa another contract.

    Hey, who knows maybe Kubica can come back from these tragedies just like Lauda did before him or the original Ronaldo (Brazil) did.

    All I can do is wish him the best of luck & a speedy recovery for sure F1 needs him for I believe we have room for one more champ.

    P.s.

    Hmm… The fact that Kubica split with his doctor could that mean alarm bells?

    Maybe the doc told Kubica some truths about his condition or maybe he kept nagging the Pole to take it easy and thus got kicked out the door and of all times —> BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!!

    You’re fired and have a Merry Christmas!

  20. David Ryan says:

    Not good at all, and like Trent I’m starting to have flashbacks to what happened with Alessandro Nannini back in 1990. I must confess, after his statement that he wouldn’t be back in the cockpit in 2012 I started to have my doubts about his recovery – you normally know within a year how much mobility you’ve regained – and this has only added to them. Broken legs heal easily enough, but the odds of it healing as strongly decrease and that is cause for concern. All the same, I hope I am wrong on this and wish Robert a speedy and successful recovery – it would be a true loss to the sport if he could not return.

  21. Rich C says:

    I can’t imagine that the fractue was very well healed if it opened again at the same place.

  22. Sudha S says:

    How much bad luck can one guy have? Maybe he should be realistic and target 2013 for his return.
    Splitting up with his long time doctor was not a good sign.
    Get well soon Kubica, lot of F1 fans are waiting for you!!

  23. Steven says:

    His biggest problem is not the leg injuries, its the damage done to the muscles and nerves on his hands and arms.

  24. AMG fan says:

    Easy to say he’s unlucky, but you might revise that and say that Robert Kubica and Alex Zanardi are two of the luckiest guys around. Both survived terrible shunts that could have easily resulted in their deaths, or — in Kubica’s case — the loss of his arm.

    1. Allan says:

      Yes, that was my thought too… At first I did think what rotten luck it is (and from a certain perspective, it is). But then I realized that not too many years back, Kubica would have surely lost his arm… some more years back, would have died in that accident. From the limited information that has been seeping through, I suspect that Robert may not regain all his physical abilities needed to resume top-line F1, but that he does stand a good chance of having a fairly normal life otherwise, which in itself is a blessing.

      I would love to have my fears about his driving career proven wrong though!!

  25. Dmitry says:

    Poor Robert.

    I can remember only one recent driver who has the same bad luck (though on a lesser scale) – Nelson Piquet Jr.

    Unfortunately (for both of them), I can’t stop thinking they both are (almost totally) to blame for their woes… and there’s no more proper time for this statement:
    “There’s no fate but what we make”

    P.S. As is in a case of Nelson – I also don’t expect Robert to return (and\or be competitive enough) to F1. There’re too little examples of miracle after-life-threatening-injures comebacks (real comebacks with real speed, wins, passion and determination), the last of them as I think is Mika Hakkinen.
    I remember about Felipe Massa, but sorry, I can’t agree he still has anything mentioned above after his accident.

  26. jpinx says:

    Very sad to hear this news but it is not the end of the world — he has a year to get fit again before the year of new engines and no diffusers — that will make it a more even game. Good luck Robert !!!!!!!

  27. daphne says:

    Take your calcium man.
    Get well soon.

  28. Robin says:

    You have to wonder if this accident was caused by a lack of mobility, strength or co-ordination from the existing injury. Falling down on ice can certainly happens but it’s very unlikely for someone that age unless you have already compromised mobility.

    This whole story is very odd. We’ve seen more public appearances from Gabrielle Giffords (US congresswoman shot in the head last year) than Kubica so far. His injuries must be quite considerably beyond regular orthopedic trauma.

    Robin

    1. Allan says:

      You speak directly to what I have often felt too… If recovery was progressing well, I would have expected to see pictures of Robert on a stationary bike, or doing stretching exercises etc… The sort of stuff that says: “Hey world, I’m here and things are coming along!”

      Of course, it is possible that things are going relatively well, and Kubica is just choosing to maintain intense privacy, but I don’t know…

      1. Sudha S says:

        To end all the speculation , at some point , I wish he would make a media appearance and say this is my condition and this is where I am in the rehabilitation process. He has a lot of fans and well-wishers and they would like to know whats going on with him. All this secrecy only makes everybody fear the worst

      2. Dougel says:

        I found these pictures of Kubica in rehabilitation, which what I think you were wanting…

        http://twitpic.com/8638hw

        sadly he has to start again.

      3. Dougel says:

        hmmmm… maybe these are pictures of his recovery from road accident earlier in his career.

  29. Paul Mc says:

    Terrible set back for Robert. i still think he will end up coming back to F1 with Ferrari. If he fully recovers theres no reason why he wont be able to return

    1. DB4Tim says:

      reserve drive to start with ….

  30. Andrew Carter says:

    To all the people questioning if he’s pushing too hard and what he was doing ont he ice, it’s WINTER FFS, are we to now say that drivers should be barricaded in their own homes and not even aloud out into their back gardens for fear of injury.

    Nannies, the lot of you. (obviously not aimed at those who realise and accept that injuries are possible regardless of what, when and where your doing it.)

    1. Werewolf says:

      “To all the people questioning if he’s pushing too hard and what he was doing ont he ice, it’s WINTER FFS, are we to now say that drivers should be barricaded in their own homes and not even aloud out into their back gardens for fear of injury.”

      Barricades can be dangerous. They would need to be made of flexible, preferaby soft material and definitely have no sharp edges. I think I prefer some kind of artificially induced catatonic state with waking time only allowed for carefully supervised training and eating. Soup is probablybest because no knives are required.

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        I wish we had smilies on this site, mine would be rolling on the floor with laughter right now!

  31. Sean Wiltshire says:

    This is so sad, I really hope RK is able to make it back to F1 in a car that suites his speed. He had a great season in 2010

  32. Ahmed says:

    Poor guy… if any driver can get back from this is Kubica…

  33. Blaize Vincent says:

    I think this might just be the nail in his career coffin. If he can reopen a fracture and need now a pin in his ankle then this is clearly not your average break and their will now be questions on weather he can handle the pressure needed to slam back on the accelerator instantly out of a breaking zone as well as can he steer.

    But i just cannot refrain from saying even nearly a year later, “what the bloody hell was he doing in a Rally (the most hazardous of motorsports) during the Testing Season!” and taking out the excuse of racers must race then who at Renualt or Kubicas management let him. I still dont get it. And now it really is begininng to look like it has cost Kubica his career.

  34. proxomos says:

    hmmm, by the time he gets better he’ll have been out for 2+ seasons. Then he’ll need to be 100% fit. For someone who has not won a championship
    I fear his future as an F1 driver is over.

    Not the most fortunate person and I hope his luck improves.

  35. Darren says:

    Don’t think we will see him in a f1 car again

  36. Jonathan says:

    unfortunately for Robert (and all true fans) it looks like it might not be a road (or track) that is ahead.

  37. Falcor says:

    This was a relatively minor fracture, and whilst atm it seems like it’s frustration street for Kubica things have a habit of changing quickly, it’s a long time till 2013…

  38. zombie says:

    Really, what on earth was he thinking walking on ice in his condition? He needs to be more careful. Lucky for him, he is still a very wealthy man, and at 27 he is pretty young. I hope he gets better soon, and maybe some months in GP2 in late 2012 should fix him good for an F1 drive in 2013. Even if he makes a come back in 2014, he’ll still be only 29. So time is on his side.

    Kubica, if you ever read these blogs, read about the life of legendary Aussie biker Mick Doohan. He nearly lost his leg, but yet made an astonishing comeback and won 5 back to back motogp titles! Good luck!

  39. Werewolf says:

    For someone like Kubica, who is so single-mindedly focused on racing, the frustration must be unbearable. Like so many, I would love to see him back in F1 but only if he can return as the fast and exciting driver he used to be, anything else would be too sad all round. A move to some other form of racing, where he could be competitive would be much better.

    Here’s hoping for the best, however. Good luck, Robert.

  40. HFEVO2 says:

    Like everyone, it was very sad to hear of this latest setback but the worry is the severity of the outcome from what must have been a relatively minor fall.

    If such damage can be done so easily, how can Robert be expected to operate the throttle of a F1 car with the necessary degree of finesse required with all the vibration and movement taking place in the car ? Not to mention the G forces.

    Stronger power assistance to the steering could reduce pressure on his arm but we can only hope he didn’t also suffer serious injuries to his left leg in the original accident. Huge pedal pressure is required to operate the brakes in a F1 car as they have no power assistance.

  41. Matt says:

    Best wishes to Robert on a speedy and full recovery.

    I was at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix when I saw him come barrelling by in a heavily damaged car. I saw his head bounce back and forth as he slid along the wall, I feared the worse. It seemed to take an eternity for the car to come to rest but once he was extracted from the tub my fears were averted.

    I just posted some photos of the incident that I had never shared before. Have a look at http://octanenation.com/photos/events/event/10/2007-canadian-grand-prix or http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.220353831384499.55738.127781467308403&type=1

    Cheers,
    Matt

    1. HFEVO2 says:

      Hello Matt What a fantastic set of photos !

      Watching the incident on TV live, I feared the worse and your photos make it absolutely clear that Robert was extremely lucky to emerge almost unscathed.

      Well done !

      1. Matt says:

        News articles at the time said he had a sprained ankle and mild concussion which is even more surprising given that in many of the pictures you can see his feet dangling out of the heavily damaged tub.

  42. jjpm says:

    This ‘ice slipping’ accident sounds to me and a few friend like a(nother) bad com from D. Morelli, travesting the fact that the leg recovery of Robert didn’t go as well as expected and now requires another surgery to fix it.
    It might be an attempt to entice the insurance to pay for the new hospitalization and also try to keep Robert’s commercial and potential value alive.
    We’ve heard (although not verified) that the meteo in that area of Italy neither specially cold nor icy… in fact for the next 15 days meteo forecast, the thermometer shows temperature around 9/11 C°…

    1. Matt says:

      jjpm,

      Do you think they would ‘stage’ an accident like this, saying that he slipped on ice even though there’s no ice on the ground? It would seem like a bad way to commit fraud.

      1. jjpm says:

        D. Morelli seems to have no qualms about saying whatever fits him, remember that Robert would have been driving a F1 late October 2011 if you had believed this guy was claiming last summer.

        I’ll say they could have found an ice patch a few kms from the city and take a picture for the purpose, after all its Italy…

    2. Tyler says:

      Not to be cold, or conspiracy like.. but I had the very same thought, it seems like such a generic statement “slipped on some ice”. Plus breaking a tibula in such a scenario seems like it would require a unique set of circumstances, slipping on ice and falling would more likely lead to an injured hip, arm, or collar bone. Just my wandering thoughts… just seemed a bit odd to me.

      1. jjpm says:

        Robert Kubica leaves hospital after leg surgery
        By Jonathan Noble and Michele Lostia

        …”Medical tests on the leg at Mantova Hospital showed that the calcification of the bone had not happened properly last year – as a result of the Polish driver being forced to remain in bed for a long period after his crash.”…

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97044

        —-
        Was close to that one in my post!

        and i’am curious about who has provoked the split with Dr Ceccarelli :
        D. Morelli or R. Kubica?

        I’ll say Morelli at 99% because this respected surgeon didn’t want to lie forever to the rest of the world and to Robert himself.

        I really think that Morelli is even worst than Flavio!

  43. AdyS says:

    Don’t write him off yet, they did that with Lance Armstrong when he got cancer and look what he did on his return…

    1. JohnBt says:

      I totally agree with you.

  44. kevin green says:

    Easily within the top 3 drivers on the grid pre rally accident (what the hell was he doing there?) im afraid that we wont see Kubica on the f1 grid again and if we do it wont be at the front or likely to be in a front running car as such, Whats his options now rallying? doubt it as the stresses and required movements in that would be more demanding than f1 in relation to his injuries to his hand/arm at least anyway :(

  45. adam says:

    whatever happened this unfortuned day of 6.2.11 nobody deserves being so unlucky as this guy,hes messing with the devil,…..

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