● Renault driver breaks his hand, arm and leg in rallying crash in Italy
● Surgeons considered amputating right hand
RENAULT driver Robert Kubica’s Formula One career remains in the balance after he underwent surgery on the serious fractures to his right hand, arm and leg last night.
The 26-year-old Pole suffered the horrific injuries in the Ronde di Andora Rally in Italy when he collided with a wall at high speed in a Skoda Fabia.
A return in time for the start of the new season, which commences on 13 March in Bahrain, seems out of the question, while the severity of the injures – surgeons were said to be considering amputating his hand – cast doubt over his ability to compete in the sport again.
Kubica’s agent, Danielle Morelli, is confident, however, that the man who finished eighth in last season’s drivers’ championship will make a full recovery.
“The surgeons are trying to restore the functions of his right hand,” he said. “They have already revascularized the limb and repaired the bone structure.
“Now they have to think about the muscular functions but Robert has strong character and he will make it.”
The crash is reported to have taken place 4.6km into the stage when Kubica’s car left the road and collided with the wall of a church.
Kubica is said to have remained conscious during a lengthy operation to cut him free from the car before he was airlifted to a hospital in Genoa.
The former BMW Sauber driver is no stranger to high-speed collisions having undergone surgery on his left arm after a Formula Three crash in 2003, while he also missed the 2007 United States Grand Prix after a spectacular crash in Canada.
Kubica had been due to lead the Renault team alongside Russian Vitaly Petrov, who has a long-term contract after signing for the 2011 and 2012 season during the winter.
The reserve drivers for 2011 include Bruno Senna – who raced for Hispania last season – and Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who drove for Renault as a replacement for Nelson Piquet Jr in 2009.
Kubica’s F1 colleagues,meanwhile, have been quick to send messages of support.
Britain’s Jenson Button, who drives for McLaren, said on his Twitter page: “Shocking news about Robert Kubica. I wish him a speedy recovery.”