Kubica suffers multiple fractures in rally crash
Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica suffered multiple fractures in a crash at a rally in Italy Sunday just several weeks before the start of the new Grand Prix season, dpa reported.
The 26-year-old Renault driver was airlifted to a hospital near Genoa and underwent surgery after he crashed his car into a church wall. His co-driver, Jacub Gerber, was unhurt.
Kubica's suffered leg, arm and hand fractures, with his right hand reported to have been particularly badly damaged in the accident.
His manager Daniele Morelli told reporters at the hospital: "Surgeons are trying to re-establish the functionality of his right hand."
He added: "Robert is very strong and he will do it."
A Lotus Renault GP team statement said: "After undergoing extensive medical checks this morning, Robert Kubica has been diagnosed with multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand."
A hospital spokesman said the injuries were not life-threatening.
The team said Kubica "suffered a high-speed accident" while competing in the Ronde di Andora rally.
Kubica, a keen rally driver, was at the wheel of a Skoda Fabia when he came off the road and struck the wall of a church at San Lorenzo near Genoa. The car is then understood to have struck a barrier, which pierced its footwell.
The Polish driver has been preparing for the start of the Formula One season in Bahrain on March 13 and last week had been testing the new Lotus Renault R31 car in Valencia, Spain where he set the fastestb time on the third and final day of testing Thursday.
He is understood to have been given permission by Renault to race in the rally in Italy as a guest driver.
Kubica underwent surgery to his left arm in 2003 after crashing in a Formula 3 race.
He also suffered a bad crash at the Canadian Grand Prix in 2007, but a year later claimed his first Formula 1 victory on the same track. He finished eighth in the driver's championship last year.
Kubica was to be partnered again in 2011 by Russian Vitaly Petrov of Russia but it now appears highly doubtful whether he will be able to race at the start of the season.
Former HRT driver Bruno Senna of Brazil and Romain Grosjean of France are the team's third drivers. Senna is seen as the favourite to step for further testing in Jerez, Spain this coming week.
Formula One drivers expressed their shock and sent messages of support.
Former world champion Jenson Button of McLaren said on his Twitter page: "Shocking news about Robert Kubica. I wish him a speedy recovery."
Williams driver Rubens Barrichello said "I would like to ask you for your best wishes to Kubica. He is being operated right now. We all like him and he deserves all the best."
Nick Heidfeld, who partnered Kubica at BMW Sauber, wrote on his homepage: "Dear Robert, after the shocking news my thoughts are with you. Get well soon."