Robert Kubica has finally informed the Renault F1 team that he won’t be fit enough to start the 2012 season, although the Pole remains committed to making a full-time racing return as quickly as possible.
Since he suffered life-threatening injuries after a crash in a little-known rally event, the Pole has made remarkable progress when one considers his right arm was partially amputated in the accident.
His multiple fractures have long since healed, and several major operations have all worked, with the Krakow-born driver now able to walk unaided and enjoy good movement in his right arm, hand and elbow.
“I’ve been working very, very hard over the course of the last few weeks, I came to the conclusion that I am not yet certain to be ready for the 2012 season,” Kubica has said in a statement issued by Renault.
“I have called the team and I have informed them of the situation. This was a difficult decision to make, but it is the most reasonable one. I also know that LRGP need to prepare for next year, and further extending deadlines would not have been the right thing to do.
“On a personal level, my recovery is still very encouraging and my doctors keep being impressed. I just need more time, as I want to be 100% ready before I commit to anything driving related.
“Finally, I regret not having been able to provide more news and not having appeared in the papers, and I thank my friends of the media for understanding that this has been the best way for me to cope with what has been the most difficult period of my life.”
His cause certainly hasn’t been helped by the very mixed messages about the progress of his recovery, while other sources are even claiming that he may never make enough of a recovery to return to Grand Prix racing.
Kubica’s announcement now finally allows the team to properly consider the make-up of its 2012 line-up, with the knowledge that one of the drivers it selects will undoubtedly make way for Kubica when he is ready to return.
The team is making available an older-spec Formula 1 car for him to start driving, as and when he is ready.
“Everybody in the team is, of course, very disappointed today. Robert not driving in Australia at the start of next season is not what we were all hoping for,” added team principal Eric Boullier.
“However, he has taken a very mature decision, acting in the best interests of Lotus Renault GP. As a team and as a family, we remain 100% behind him and we’ll help as much as we can.
“Robert will take it step by step and will jump back in his racing car when he feels it is the right moment to do so. On behalf of all 520 members of the team, I wish him a speedy recovery.”
[Images via LAT]