Wheels24

Kubica: Tough call on 2012 drive

2011-11-23 13:12

LONDON, England – The Renault F1 team has confirmed that Robert Kubica will miss at least the early part of the 2012 season as he continues to recover from serious injuries sustained in a rally crash.

The team had hoped he would be fit to resume his role as the team's No. 1 driver from the start of 2012 it’s not going to happen.

ONGOING TALKS

"Everybody in the team is, of course, very disappointed," team principal Eric Boullier said. "Robert not driving in Australia at the start of next season is not what we were hoping for. However, he has taken a very mature decision, acting in the best interests of Lotus Renault GP."

The team said a 2012 preparation programme of "simulator testing, single-seater and F1 track time" was being designed for Kubica for when he is ready to resume and that there were ongoing talks about extending his contract.

Renault said it would talk to "a few drivers" as it assesses its options for 2012 with current drivers Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna and test driver Romain Grosjean considered to be the leading candidates for the race seats.

TRAUMATIC INJURIES

Kubica sustained life-threatening injuries in a crash in the Ronde di Andora rally in Italy on February 6, 2011. He suffered traumatic injuries to the right side of his body, almost severing his forearm, and with fractures to his leg and shoulder.

A length of steel road-barrier apparently sliced through the length of the car.

Renault said he could walk freely and had regained elbow and hand articulation but need more rehabilitation to reach F1 fitness.

Kubica said: “Even though I've been working very hard through the past few weeks, I am not yet certain to be ready for the 2012 season. It was a difficult decision but the most reasonable."

The final race of the 2011 season will be this weekend in Brazil and pre-2012 testing will start in earnest in Jerez, Spain in February. The first 2012 race will be in Melbourne, Australia on March 18.

AP