Kubica 'responding positively'
Injured driver to undergo more surgery later this week
Last Updated: 08/02/11 2:50pm
Crash: the wreck of Kubica's car
Renault's Robert Kubica is said to be responding well to treatment two days after he suffered serious injuries in a rally accident.
The 26-year-old Pole's right hand was partially severed in the crash on the Ronde di Andora Rally in Italy, caused when the Skoda Fabia he was driving collided with a barrier on the outside of a fast right-hand turn.
Kubica also suffered fractures to the elbow and shoulder of his right arm as well as to his right leg. According to co-driver Jakub Gerber, who escaped without injury, the extent of the injuries were due to the crash barrier piercing the front of the car.
Speaking on Tuesday, doctor Giorgio Barabino, head of the intensive care unit at Savona's Santa Corona di Pietra Ligure hospital, said: "The patient is responding positively to therapy. He is conscious and his condition is stable."
Doctors warned on Monday that it would not be known until the weekend whether the operation to reconstruct Kubica's hand has been a success, allowing him to resume his career.
However, according to a Renault team statement, Kubica has "reacted well to the news about his condition and is ready to fight for his comeback".
He will undergo more surgery on Thursday to repair damage to his right elbow and shoulder, with manager Daniele Morelli confirming that his driver, who is expected to remain in hospital for two to three weeks, will not transfer elsewhere.
"Most certainly we will trust this hospital that has all the specialities that are necessary for Robert to heal," he said.
Kubica's leg fractures could take three to four months to heal.
Professor Mario Igor Rossello, who was involved in the seven-and-a-half-hour operation to reconstruct Kubica's hand, suggested that he faced a year out of F1.
However, Renault team principal Eric Boullier has expressed the hope that his star driver might make a quicker return.
The new season gets under way in Bahrain in a little over a month's time and the team have a choice to make as to whether they turn to one of their reserve drivers to fill the void alongside Russia's Vitaly Petrov.
Bruno Senna, who raced for Hispania last year, and Romain Grosjean, who contested seven grands prix for Renault in 2009, are the men in the frame although the team may yet opt for a more experienced head.
Nick Heidfeld and Vitantonio Liuzzi - both of whom are without a drive in 2011 - have been mentioned as likely candidates although the latter, who visited Kubica on Monday, played down the speculation.
The Italian driver said: "A lot of people talked about this: not the team, but a lot of journalists.
"Personally, at the moment I think Robert's health is the first thing. Then, it's obvious that when Renault are sure that Robert won't be able to step in the car, this chance might be open and I hope to be chosen instead of somebody else. But, again, at the moment Robert's health is the priority."
Of his visit, Liuzzi told 422race.com: "I didn't see him personally. But I spoke to the doctors, his manager and Dr Ceccarelli (Renault's doctor): the people who are closest to him and who saw him. It seems that everything is going the right way and he is recovering right.
"For sure the first four-five days will be the most critical ones, but at the moment everything seems to go well."