No Formula 1 return for Robert Kubica in 2011

Renault boss reveals the Polish driver won't return to F1 this year - but he could feature in a practice session

By Gareth Llewellyn
robert kubica
Kubica suffered multiple injuries in a rallying accident Photo: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic

robert kubica

Robert Kubica will not race in Formula 1 in 2011 but he could take part in a practice session at the end of the season, Renault’s F1 chairman has revealed.

Gerard Lopez, whose Genii Capital bought out the French manufacturer last year, told Spanish radio station Onda Cero that it was impossible to tell how the Polish driver would recover from his near fatal accident at the Ronde di Andorra event in northern Italy on 6 February.

“We will probably manage for him to do a Friday session at some point in the year but for sure his return this season will not be possible,” Lopez said after last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix near Barcelona.

“Robert has survived a spectacular accident and now he has to do the hardest thing, to recover fully, which is something that nobody knows whether he will succeed. Not him, nor the doctors, nor us.”

Kubica spent two months in hospital in Pietra Ligure following surgery to repair life-threatening arm, leg and hand injuries.

He was widely expected to miss the rest of the season, with Renault team principal Eric Boullier saying at the time that it could be mid-June before the team had a better knowledge of his recuperation.

Since leaving hospital Kubica has begun a programme of rehabilitation, but it is still unclear if he will fully recover from his injuries after he revealed last month that he still did not have full mobility of his right hand.

The 26-year-old’s race seat is currently occupied by former Sauber team-mate Nick Heidfeld until he can return to the sport, but the German has endured a mixed season in the opening five races.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve had a good start,” Lopez added. “To me it has been weak because we were aiming higher.

“The start was good in the first two races, but we are hoping for podiums, maybe to win a race that’s out of Red Bull dominance, and try to finish in third or fourth place in the championship.”

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