Renault's Formula One driver Robert Kubica will require more surgery despite a seven-hour operation following an accident in Ronde di Andora rally on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Pole successfully underwent a seven-hour surgery to save his right hand after it was partially severed in the accident. He also suffered fractures to his right arm and leg. The accident occurred when his Skoda Fabia collided into a crash barrier, which pierced into the car and entered the cockpit.
Dr. Francesco Lanza, the director of orthopedics at the Santa Corona hospital, Ligure, where Kubica is admitted, said The patient will have to undergo more surgery, not only on the parts already treated, but also for other problems and traumas he suffered, which we couldn't work on because of the emergency.
The important thing was to stabilize the patient and to pad the biggest wounds. For the fractures suffered on his leg, he will need at least three or four months to allow the bone to set back together.
Kubica, who was put into a medically-induced coma, was briefly woken and informed of severity of his injuries. The Pole, however, enquired about the well being of his co-driver Jakub Gerber, who came out of the crash with minor injuries.
Kubica's agent Daniel Morelli, after having spoken to him when he was woken, said, I have finally talked to him and Robert has shown he understands everything perfectly. His cerebral activity is intact and we are extremely relieved. This really gives good hope. Obviously he feels a lot of pain to his leg and hand. He'll need time.
Eric Boullier, Renault's team principal, is confident that his main driver, who had performed impressively in the first pre-season test at Valencia, would make a comeback before a year, as predicted by the medical team treating Kubica.
Boullier told the BBC, Robert is doing better this morning and he is actually in the process of being woken up. There has already been some good communication with the doctors. Obviously when you have a big crash like he had, doctors always predict the worst case scenario.
It took seven hours in the surgery room to repair his hand and his arm, but this morning it is really fine. They needed 24 hours to make sure it recovered completely and it looks like this morning they are all happy.
With Kubica's Formula One season over before it had begun, Renault are on the look-out for an able replacement which will prove difficult considering Kubica's impressive showing at the pre-season test in Valencia where he clocked the fastest time.
Renault had signed up Bruno Senna as a reserve last week, but the situation might give the 27-year-old Kubica's place after Boullier was quoted as saying, I will give the one who is ready, and Bruno is the most ready driver.
Renault's other reserve drivers include Romain Grosjean, who unimpressively filled the Jr Nelson Piquet's slot for seven grands prix in 2009, Fairuz Fauzy, Jan Charouz and Ho-Pin Tung none of whom have more than a few testing miles to their names.
Renault might also make an unlikely bid to Force India to land their reserve driver Nico Hülkenburg on loan. They will also look at the few remaining experienced candidates for the job such as Vitantonio Liuzzi and Nick Heidfeld.
Rumors have it that they might try and coax Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, who currently has a contract with Citroen in the world rally championship. But it would be prove to be expensive and costly as the Finn doesn't enjoy the strict and disciplined life required of a Formula One driver.
Senna is the plausible option, and it would mean the 27-year-old has quite the task if he is to fill the big boots of Robert Kubica.