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Monday 10th September 2012

Kubica Wins on Comeback

2014 F1 return for injured Lotus-Renault star?



Robert Kubica entered his first competition since his near-fatal crash 19 months ago over the weekend – and has given his recovery a major fillip by winning the regional Italian rally.

Driving a Subaru Impreza WRC car, Kubica won each of the four stages in the Rally Ronde di Lana Gomitolo, to triumph by nearly a minute over runner up Omar Bergo who was driving a WRC MINI. So, as comebacks go, it was pretty comprehensive, and is seen by Kubica as a major step in his recuperation.

Lest we forget, it was back in February last year that the 27 year old Pole suffered his horrific accident while driving a Skoda Fabia S2000 car in – ironically – another round of the Rally Ronde, the Andora event. He thus missed the entire 2011 F1 season and, as a result, is out of contract with his former Lotus-Renault team (who apparently now have little contact with him).

His recovery has, at times, sounded painfully slow, not helped by reportedly breaking his right leg again in January after falling on ice at home.

But Kubica is apparently still planning on an F1 return, targeting 2014 to get back behind the wheel. “The goal is to return to Formula 1 in 2014,” he told Sky Sports Italy. "I'm here because I wanted to experience the adrenaline of the race. Now (I will) do this rally, then to San Martino di Castrozza and then we'll see”

The Castrozza event takes place this coming weekend, and Kubica will also reportedly take part in a series of four tests to further assess progress. Apparently, the 2008 Canadian GP winner admitted he’ll probably never be at the same physical level as before (onlookers said movement in his right arm appeared visibility limited, and that he held the winners’ trophy with his left arm), butsaid “I don’t intend to give up”.

Can he do it? Who knows. But full credit to him, he’s sticking at it – and proving that he’s still a winner in the process.

richardaucock
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Author Discussion

Schnellmann

Original Poster:

1,707 posts

92 months

[news] 
Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Brilliant to hear he is back driving and back to winning. It is still unlikely he will get back into F1 but good luck to him with the attempt.

lgomgf

236 posts

76 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
I am happy for him... I can't imagine how hard it is to comeback after all the surgeries and physio... All the best and I hope we can all see him back at F1 one day

thepony

1,449 posts

53 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Fantastic news about Robert Kubica.

I am rooting for him to return to F1 and become FIA F1 WDC :-)

Life Saab Itch

37,056 posts

76 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
I Dont think thqt it would be out of the realms of possibilities that Perez will be a 2014Ferrari driver and Kubica would be a good fit in the Sauber for a year to assess his race pace etc before a 2015 Ferrari seat taking over from Alonso.

LordGrover

23,121 posts

100 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Nice to see he's well on the way to recovery.
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Life Saab Itch

37,056 posts

76 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
I wonder if he's still going to Ferrari to use the simulator?

Steamer

9,385 posts

101 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Life Saab Itch said:
...before a 2015 Ferrari seat taking over from Alonso.
Taking over? Alonso is only 31 - Kubica is 28.

Alonso said he would finish his career with Ferrari - but I think hes got a few years left yet. Or have i missed something?

sb-1

3,182 posts

151 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all

Ian974

1,858 posts

87 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
A good result for him anyway. Whether he makes it back into F1 I'm not sure, but I'd hope so and wish the best of luck to him.

$chuey

8 posts

82 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Would love to see him back in F1 as I had him down as a future champ. Would be a shame if he can't drive an F1 car competitively again.

BelfastBoy

596 posts

48 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
"He thus missed the entire 2011 F1 season and, as a result, is out of contract with his former Lotus-Renault team (who apparently now have little contact with him)."

Any chance of expanding on this? Pre-accident, Kubica was really going places, so would his former team not have some interest in trying to rehabilitate him sooner rather than later? Or were they angry with him for sustaining the injury in non-F1 circumstances?

Bill Carr

2,234 posts

122 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
If he makes it back to a full-time F1 drive it will be an extraordinary comeback. I just can't see it happening.

P-Jay

6,751 posts

79 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Really glad to hear some good news about him, he's a great driver and it seems a nice bloke too.

I have a little experience of the sorts of things he's going through with arm surgeries and never damage and it's a frustratingly slow process, but nerves will realign and it doesn't take long to work out ways to compensate for limited movement so I'm confident he'll be fit again to drive F1 competitively.

Whether he'll get a seat in the hyper competitive series now without a bucket of sponsorship money is another thing, he might have to live with a development drive first year back.

MrQuick

130 posts

48 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Robert Kubica for a 2014 comeback?
Eh, no

Clearly can't move the armvery much at all in that video.
His injury is very similar to what my mum's brother had, shattered his elbow after car hit a tree and his arm was sticking out the window. 7 years on he only has a limited range of motion in his elbow and it is no where near as strong as his other arm.

I can see him going back to racing full time tintops, but no way is he going to ever race in F1.

Gah, I want him back in F1 so badly though.

carinaman

8,590 posts

60 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
I hope he recovers as much as possible! Will he recover? Look at what other survivors of car and motorcycle accidents on and off track achieve.

It's a shame that F1 is seen as the be all and end all, perhaps he could be vying for victory in other series.

Are the forces and strength required of limbs that much greater in F1 than rallying? It's all those G Forces?

VladD

5,451 posts

153 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Kubica and Zanardi should team up for a class entry at Le Mans.

epom

2,796 posts

49 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Superb news, well done him !!

davepoth

23,550 posts

87 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMqiCVamh-s&fea...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIks6ZFgXrM&fea...

Doesn't seem to hurt his driving that much. Arm mobility shouldn't be all that much of an issue - you only need a couple of inches of deflection to turn the wheel from lock to lock. Also in a LHD rally car he must be working the gearshift and handbrake with his right hand so the disability isn't that bad. If he can evacuate himself from an F1 cockpit quickly enough (and I believe that's the only requirement) I think he can make a comeback provided the drive is still there.

hornet

6,008 posts

138 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
Can't see him ever returning to F1, but hope he gets back to racing something at a decent level. Zanardi's success in the WTCC shows it's possible, although different sort of injury so different set of challenges.

sunsurfer

252 posts

69 months

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Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
There is more than one way to drive a racing car.
Surely with the state of technology Kubica could have adaptions to his F1 car so he could successfully race? There are a lot of disabled drivers with adapted cars.
Under UK law employers and organisations are required to make "reasonable adjustments" to meet the needs of disabled people. This could mean technical adaptions by a formula one team and rule book adjustments by FIA so RK could return to grand prix racing.
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