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Kubica targetting June comeback in simulator and race car
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Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jan 2012   |  12:56 pm GMT  |  98 comments

Stories coming from Italy suggest that injured F1 driver Robert Kubica aims to get into an F1 simulator and then back into a car and has set his sights on doing it from June onwards.

The Pole, who broke bones down his right side and severed nerves in his right arm in a rally accident a year ago, is still in a light cast at present after breaking his right leg again earlier this month. But he’s counting down the days to getting back into training.

According to our colleague Pino Allievi, who is in close contact with Kubica, he had started intense training on a bicycle in December and will get back on it soon. He is driving a road car again and has a good range of movement is his right arm, but still has some problems with rotation movements between the elbow and wrist.

According to Allievi, Kubica’s attitude is that either he’s able to come back at 100% of his previous level or he won’t bother. And it will only be if and when he drives a simulator and then a racing car that he will know.

The intense physiotherapy he is undertaking at the moment and the training programme he had started on before the recent leg break show the ferocity of his determination to come back.

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1

he is finished.

2
Brett Williams

Hi James,

As we’re heading closer to June are you able to run an update on Robert’s recovery? There doesn’t appear to be much coverage on this, with the last credible information seemingly being the reporting of Jaime Alguersuari saying that he can’t even hold a glass with his injured hand.

Looking at the strong preformences recently by Raikkonen & Grosjean in the Lotus/Renault I would have loved to see Kubica at the wheel of one of these this season.

What do you know, and what can you report on?

3

I’ll look into it. There are a lot of banners supporting RK in the stands here at Barcelona

4

I cant believe the amount of negative comments regarding Kubica pre rally accident are people so narrow minded and blind that they don,t realise that its not necessarily race wins and title wins that defines a great driver you have clearly got to weigh the odds up of what the driver is currently driving and think that’s where the recognition by people that rate Kubica comes from as opposed to his personality and humour level.

I cant begin to emphasise how great a driver i thought he was/was going to be i really do believe he was knocking on Alonso’s as far as skill talent and maturity infact pretty much everything but looks :/ like i have previously said easily within the top 3 drivers of the current grid.

Just such a shame to see that that really does appear to be it for him as far as his form was and could have been even if he does make it back on the grid.

5

Much as we would all no doubt wish to see Kubica back I think that the chances are against it. What I am certain of is that it is impossible he will ever be at the same level again. Even if he can learn to drive in a different way it will not be his way. he will always be compromising and working around his new limitations. And think about it: comebacks rarely end up in the person being just as good as they were before. The fact their are exceptions only proves that rule. Kubica was not at a top team when he injured himself. Why would he be placed at a top team now? You can be certain he never will be unless he proves himself over time. I would expect any Ferrari interest to be wholly dependent on him proving himself in 4 or 5 races before the end of this season, assuming he can even race at any point in 2012. If not why would they take a chance for 2013 on a man who has not even proved himself in a race beforehand? Race teams are not charities.

6

Only when he starts driving then we’ll know the truth. As a young man his spirit is very strong but physically only Kubica will know how well he has recovered.

7

At last I can see a light in the dark :))

8

But is it the headlight of an onrushing train?

Or…

9

F1 seems a funny old world, all respect and good wishes to Kubica, but you wonder why Ferrari [or any other F1 team] need to take the risk,especially after Massa’s ‘tame’ comeback after his head trauma, and spend money and resouces on a driver who has suffered major injuries to the parts of the body, arm, hand, leg etc that an F1 driver more than anyone needs to be working 100% all of the time, here is a global sport with only 20 odd teams and a good number of talented young, fully fit drivers ready, willing and able to ‘step up to the plate’ surely we can’t be talking of sentmentallity in the ‘big bad world’ of F1 !!

10

As i have previously stated pre silly rally accident i believe Kubica was within the top 3 drivers in F1 at the time of his accidents i certainly woiuld not rule him out for a F1 race day come back but im pretty sure it wont be or ever will be in a top front running team, For as great as i feel he was prior to his accident the Handicap that he is going to be left with from that injuries i feel will near certainly effect him to make that much of a difference but i do however believe he may still have enough skill and talent still effectively there to drive within some of the lower teams to admirable effect. Such a shame i am Certain he would be at Ferrari this season for sure otherwise as somebody else said on another post above on the scale of Massa’s injuries effecting him which i would say hugely as its almost like a sympathy case for his injuries in the car of no fault of his own that Ferrari still have him there and Massa was another very top end driver before his misfortune regardless of the car he was driving at the time. so on this basis and how its certainly effected ferrari’s prospect over the last couple of seasons i cant see them touching Kubica for at least a few seasons regardless of simulator/practice form. If the Mercedes dont work this season i think were odds on seeing Rosberg in that seat in 2013 or even Di resta or Hulkenberg If any of them have a outstanding season Speculation about Mark Webber really cant see it if that was going to happen it was going to be at the start of last season think theres going to be lots of young talent coming good this season.

11

Recent Rumours that Kubica’s potential move to Ferrari

Ferrari will help Kubica return to Formula 1

http://www.formula1onlive.com/2012/01/ferrari-will-help-kubica-return-to.html

12

More rumours. Ferrari have an excellent PR department. If they had anything to say about themselves and Kubica, they’d say it themselves, not put around rumours.

Truth is, Ferrari had an interest in Kubica a year ago. He had the accident and they have moved on.

Kubica’s manager appears to have attempted to get Kubica a contract with other teams on the back of Ferrari’s past interest. He’s failed, none of the team managers were born yesterday. Sadly, a large number of Kubica’s fans believe he will not only drive in F1 again, but he’ll jump straight into a Ferrari. That isn’t going to happen.

13

James, how come we haven’t seen any pictures of Robert? He’s never spoken or done an interview for us to see him. Is that not strange to you?

14

heres a recent photo:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hoENMwkaQVo/ToNfUMKGi5I/AAAAAAAAAGA/kQ7ir2sxfQs/s1600/Kubica+new1.jpg

he has said all along he wants to stay out of the public spotlight until he makes a full recovery. most people would do the same.

15

No, he’s staying out of the spotlight

16

Very wisely so too! hope he does get back into F1 🙂

17

Tragic accident yes but Kubica has not given a single word ‘back’ to his fans in the last 18months.

Get well soon but take a hike!

18

kubica has too given word to his fans, you just missed it. he thanked his fans for all the support and said he only wants to face the media when he has made a full recovery. so you take a hike, since your not a fan and dont know his progress at all.

19

Accident was 6 February and this is not full year

20

don’t doubt Kubica’s ability to bounce back. Two words spring to mind when I consider career ending injuries, Niki Lauda. Granted the times are different and physical stresses placed on the drivers that much greater but it can be done. Once a racer, always a racer.

I think the bigger issue is the mental side of it and whether or not Kubica can step up again.

21

Lauda was back within weeks; the injuries aren’t remotely comparable.

22

You may not doubt it, many sensible people do.

Physical stress much greater now, LOL LOL.

Once a racer always a racer… Kubica ??

3 strikes and your out…….

23

We will never see him back racing F1 again,

24

Quote: “He is driving a road car again and has a good range of movement is his right arm, but still has some problems with rotation movements between the elbow and wrist.” Very much as I posted in the Kubica article way back now that the shattered elbow would sustain problems with pronation and supination, and the hand would come back at somewhere near 85% or even better. The combined forces on a F1 driver are very strenuous, and the elbow takes a pounding because limited cockpit space and having to fully work the wheel left and right for up to 2 hours straight. The excessive forces through such a damaged elbow are likely to onset arthritis in the joint over the short term too, but this can be managaed to some extent, not fully. There are plenty of sportspeople that push through chronic pain/physical restrictions (Mick Doohan comes to mind as someone who had changes made to accommodate his bacnged up body, and he still won championships in MotoGP, but his physical state shortened his career by around 2 years) and Kubica seems of that ‘stuff’. I hope he can come back, but there’s still high doubt in my mind that he can.

25

The Kubica story is getting sadder and sadder at this point. I feel bad for the guy, but odds of him ever racing in F1 again are slim, and at a top team are remote at best. It is hard enough to leave the sport for close to 2 years and come back fast if you are healthy. However, he has been thorugh numerous surgeries, and spent tons of time in hosptials. In a sport that comes down to hundreths and thousandths of a second I would be stunned if he were fast again… but if he is then great for him!

26

It is not unusual for sport athletes to sustain injuries for a couple of years. The thing I’m not sure about is how well will he fare against a steep competition of young guns in F1 by 2013 or later.

Vettel has set such high bar, most past champions are having trouble keeping up.

27

No it is the combination of Adrian Newey and Vettel. Plenty of them are well capable of delivering those sort of results given the car and the commitment Red Bull have.

28

Correct i find it hard to rate Vettel as a driver above at least 6 of the other drivers on the grid at this point but yes he certainly is good and has a unrivaled desire/drive probably but just really hard to gauge exactly how good yet, the single biggest figure in F1 for impact right now defo has to be Newey if not already i think you would find there will be approaches by Ferrari and Mclaren over the next couple of seasons yet.

29

About 90 % of the Germans (excuse my bad English) are convinced that there will be no come back of Kubica. I’m very VERY asthonised that here are so many hopeful fans…

Please think: There is no picture, no interview no proof at life what so ever since tha accident. There are only statments from friends or from his manager which has proved several times as nonsens. His second “ice”-accident was in a climatic zone of about 7 – 10 degrees. Because this was reveiled the management changed that story to “slippery wet garden”. There is no proof of entering that hospital – no one there knew about Kubica. There was no hospital at all hosting a Mr. Kubica! The latest story is “he drove a street car with automatic gearbox” – should that be a good story after 1,5 years reha???? And still on proof at all for anything???

No one on earth with a willing to a sports comeback would hide completely. No one on earth would manage that sort of hiding and efforts of a reha without at least some paparazzi discoverments. It’s not a mystery anymore – it’s quite obvious: If he is alive then he’s struggling with normal life SOOO HARD that he can’t show that! Just sitting in his room behind closed curtains is NOT a hard work for a come back. I’m sorry but that’s it!

30

Firstly, there have been quite a lot pictures here and there, either Kubica with bandages and stabilizers on his hand, or without, or even pictures of Kubica looking physically fit posted on Facebook.
Secondly, it has been said that he broke his bone recently EXACTLY in the place where it was broken last winter and it was due to the lack of phosphorus in it, and as manager said, in fact this is even better it happened now rather than on later stage of recovery. Also notice that it has been spoiled he was taken to the different hospital than St. Corona, as in St. Corona were hordes of journalists a hour after information about broken leg was sent out, also he was registered under nickname, and it was all spoiled to public later on.
Thirdly, I hardly believe in his comeback, not because i like him even if i do, not because he is suberb driver, but because of one simple reason: when any of the teams will have him in their car in the race of his return, this is going to be enormous exposure to their car, brand, all advertisers on their car and on driver suits, etc, etc, and this goes into millions of euro deals. I am not saying they will keep him for whole season or even more than 2-3 races if he won’t deliver, but i am 300% certain he will race again, that’s too easy cash to be picked up.

31
Tornillo Amarillo

But there is no proof either he is sitting in his room behind closed curtains…

32

to all of you guys out there!

Kubica will be back for sure,I’m 100% convinced he will come back in style and will twist a bit f1 again!hes motivated and determined,and deep down wee know theres something goin on already,so watch this space as they say!

33

I certainly hope so but i think its maybe time to be running that crack pipe on a little less throttle my friend 🙂

34

Kubica needs to come back to F1, hes a genuine racer, ill be patiently waiting for his comeback, no doubt.

35

James –

Can you shed any light on the bizarre public argument we saw a couple of months ago between Lotus Renault & Kubica’s manager?

Didn’t the latter insist at the time that Robert was still seriously expecting to be ready to line up on the grid for the first race in 2012? And that LRGP were deliberately misrepesenting Robert’s possible unavailability for the first 2012 -test-?

IIRC, there were related rumours that the real argument was that LRGP wanted a contract at least until the end of 2013, and that Robert’s camp refused to commit beyond the end of 2012.

If my memory is correct, I’m -slightly- more sympathetic to Eric Boullier’s position now than I was at the time…

36

Well only time will tell. It’s not so much will he be the same again because undoubtably he won’t quite, because there will always be some residual issue or problem. It really boils down to whether he can extract the same level of performance from his changed situation by adapting. There’s no doubt that he will train hard to get there, but it remains to be seen if it is good enough. Personally I wish him the best of luck.

37

Two questions: Whose simulator and which F1 car??

38

Oh please do come back. It seems that many people are waiting for you.

39

Hm. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it. I wouldn’t bet a fiver now on Robert ever making it back to F1. Even if he could regain 100% fitness once more, the passing of time and the stain of peoples’ perceptions of his post-accidemt abilities will count too strongly against him… Sad to say, I’ll be amazed if he gets another drive now…

40

Totally agree. We often talk of fit young drivers are and the talent they bring etc… As much as we want to will him back and make comments to support him… its not going to happen.

The level of damage sustained compared to the total demands of driving an F1 car lead to the same conclusion,which top team would go with such a driver. Talent he had, he now has talent compromised by physical challenges.

I am sure you will find that will be his conclusion in the end. Remember the top surgeon James spoke to more or less said the same. He thought it highly unlikey that he could make a recovery ack to where he was beforethe accident.

But don’t get me wrong. Just like Alex Zinardi, the fact that they don’t give up trying is a cause for admiration.

42

Thats what happens when you type quickly without thinking on an iphone! Thanks for pointing it out

43

100% or Not return?

I’m willing to bet that Kubica will return !

The human brain & mind is sooo fantastic in compensating for a deficiency, but what you cant teach it is how to have ‘guts of raw steel’ and Kubica has bucket loads of this.

I honestly dont think he’ll have full senses or movement as before, but this wont stop him. If senses in his right hand have reduced, then train to be left-handed. If the right arm cant rotate fully, then make the left arm stronger (and power steering will help here).

Will this stop him in finding the limit? No freakin way!

Will this change his driving style? Yes, but it’s also an opportunity to be a better driver and develop a better style. Keep in mind, he’s widely known for aggressive driving which is hard-wired, maybe this will significantly increase his ‘finess’, and coupled together will explode into “float like a butterfly but sting like a bee”!

If you’re reading this Robert, limitation is only in the mind; you win there, and winning a race is just a matter of time.

Go, reclaim what is yours.

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