The Renault team - and Formula One in general - was dealt a heavy blow in February when star driver Robert Kubica was ruled out of the start of the 2011 season following a serious crash during the Ronde di Andora Rally in Italy. Several surgeries and over two months later, Kubica is finally looking forward to leaving hospital and briefly heading home, before commencing the rehabilitation programme which everyone hopes will precede his F1 return. Speaking to his team’s official website, the Pole had the following to say to his fans…
Robert Kubica: Hello everybody, here I am. Sorry for the delay in contacting you but I preferred to wait until the moment I could finally share some positive news with you. First of all I would like to pay a huge amount of thanks to my fans whose support has been simply incredible since my accident in Italy back in February. I have been literally submerged by letters and various gifts and objects and it seems the flow is not slowing down. I also want to thank all the people in the world of F1 who showed in various manners their concern for the difficult situation I’m in.
Q: Robert, just over 10 weeks on from your accident - how are you feeling?
RK: I am starting to feel a lot better now. My recovery is moving in the right direction: my strength and weight are increasing day on day and as a result I will leave the Santa Corona hospital very soon.
Q: When exactly will you leave the hospital?
RK: I don’t have a precise date as yet but I hope to be able to leave within the next 10 days.
Q: Concerning the injury to your hand, how is the mobility now?
RK: The mobility of my hand is limited but this is pretty normal in this kind of situation, because the connected arm muscles are still very weak due to the long period of immobility. Things are definitely improving day by day.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your rehabilitation programme?
RK: As soon as I leave hospital, I’ll head to my home in Monaco for a short period of rest. Then I’ll move to Dr Ceccarelli‘s facilities in Italy where I will start a deep rehabilitation program and a preliminary soft training programme. The two programmes will gradually cross over based on the speed of my recovery.
Q: There’s been an amazing reaction from the fans - how has the response helped your recovery?
RK: I must admit that it’s been overwhelming and, yes, it’s helped me a lot. I really didn’t realise that quite this many fans were supporting me. I’m very flattered and I promise them that, when I’m back, I’ll give them my absolute best.
Q: Have you been staying in regular touch with the team since you’ve been away?
RK: Yes, of course. Especially since the season started, I’ve been liaising with my engineers on what’s been going on over race weekends. They are sending me the race reports so I can remain up to date and fully informed, as if I were there at the tracks. (Team principal) Eric Boullier is also in constant contact, keeping up to date with my general condition.
Q: Have you watched all the races so far this year, and what are you making of the new season and Lotus Renault GP’s performances so far?
RK: Yes I’ve watched them, and there is no doubt that it’s been a strong start to the season. The potential of the car, which I already noticed in the February Valencia test, seems to be confirmed. As usual, it’s now important that the development done in Enstone continues to produce consistent updates for maintaining this level of performance. The guys did a great job with this car and I’m sure they’ll continue to improve.
Q: Finally, what messages would you like to pass on to your supporters in the Formula One world?
RK: Well, just continue to enjoy the F1 show even though I’m not there at the moment. From my side, I’ll try to use my difficult experience to come back as strong as I possibly can.