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Formula One driver Robert Kubica undergoes surgery after rally race crash

February 7, 2011 | 11:07 am



Formula One driver Robert Kubica of the Lotus Renault GP team was in stable condition Monday after he suffered serious injuries in a rally race crash in northwest Italy.

Kubica, 26, underwent seven hours of surgery Sunday at the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure to treat his right hand and forearm, which were badly injured when his car hit a guard rail at high speed.

Kubica2 The Polish driver was then placed in an induced coma but briefly awakened Monday morning, when he spoke to relatives and was able to move his fingers, "which is encouraging for the rest of his recovery process," his team said.

Kubica also had elbow and shoulder fractures, and "Robert may have to undergo surgery once again for this, but not for a few days," Lotus Renault said.

Kubica was racing a Skoda Fabia car in the Ronde di Andora Rally with co-driver Jakub Gerber when the accident occurred. Gerber was not hurt.

It seems likely Kubica will miss most or all of this year's Formula One season, which opens March 13 in Bahrain.

Kubica finished eighth in the championship standings last season. His one career F1 victory came in 2008, when he won the Canadian Grand Prix for the BMW Sauber team, becoming the first Polish driver to win a Formula One race.

Last week, Kubica had set the fastest time in the final day of Formula One preseason testing in Valencia, Spain.

--Jim Peltz

Photos: (Top) The wrecked rally racing car of Formula One driver Robert Kubica is towed in Andora, Italy, on Sunday. Credit: Roberto Ruscello / Associated Press. (Bottom) Kubica is carried on a stretcher at Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure after the crash. Silvio Fasano / Associated Press.