Formula One greats have blasted F1 team Lotus Renault GP for their decision to allow their driver Robert Kubica to take part in the rally, which led to a serious accident, so close to the start of the F1 season.

Barely 3 miles into the Ronde di Andora rally in Italy on Sunday, Kubica's Skoda Fabia collided into a crash barrier, which pierced into the car and entered the cockpit, partially severing his right hand as well as dealing fractures to his right arm and leg.

The 26-year-old Pole, who was in critical condition, successfully underwent a seven-hour surgery to save his right hand and will require more surgery for repairing other damages suffered.

As Kubica lies in a medically-induced coma, Renault team principal Eric Boullier defended his team's decision to allow the Pole to rally, when he told French sports newspaper L'Equipe that rallying is in his heart and that he could also have been run over by a bus going to get his bread.

However, according to the Daily Telegraph, triple F1 World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart thought otherwise, saying, It's quite a challenge to stop drivers doing the things I believe are unwise leading up to a F1 season but you've got to look after that investment.

Kubica's ex-team Principal when he was a driver for BMW-Sauber, Dr. Mario Theissen, lambasted Renault in an interview with The Associated Press saying, What's the point in pushing hard for the highest safety standards in F1 if a driver is then seriously hurt in other racing activities? The driver is key to success in F1 - only he can turn the tremendous effort of several hundred equally determined people into results.

Kubica is likely to stay under intensive care for several days to come, having reportedly lost five pints of blood in the accident. It comes as a massive blow to him, Renault and the F1 world, especially considering the promising first test at Valencia and what seemed to be the onset of his finest season in his F1 career. His chances of making a comeback within the 2011 season are slim but the main challenge which faces the Pole is to overcome the traumas of what could potentially destroy his top-flight career.