Kubica has further operation on elbow

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Robert Kubica has another operation on his elbow in Italy.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Kubica undergoes elbow operation (Autosport)

“The Pole, who continues recovering from the horrific crash he was involved in during a rally at the start of last year, had surgery at the Pederzoli hospital at the end of last month, when parts of his elbow were replaced with two prosthesis.”

Silverstone joins circuits’ bid for bigger say in F1’s future (The Independent)

“The formation of [the Formula One Promoters Association] comes as the teams are negotiating a new contract with F1’s boss Bernie Ecclestone and its governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.”

Sky to hold live broadcast rights as of March 2013 (AGI)

“Sky [Italia] has won exclusive live television rights to the FIA F1 World Championships as of next season.”

Roy Salvadori obituary (The Guardian)

“The nearest he came to a Grand Prix win was at Watkins Glen in upstate New York in 1961, when his Cooper’s engine failed as he was closing on Innes Ireland’s Lotus, which went on to win. His greatest success had come two years earlier in winning the 24-hour sports car classic at Le Mans.”

Canada 1982: Agony and irony (Grand Prix)

“I have never seen anyone appear so uncomfortable at a press conference. Instead of sitting back in his chair and savouring the moment, as pole position winners do, [Didier] Pironi leaned forward and spoke slowly and earnestly in French. When asked to repeat what he had said in English, Pironi appeared anguished, almost distressed.”

Montreal: all hands on deck (ESPN)

“Sadly, the race was abandoned a few years later when some teams were thought to be taking this too seriously by bringing items that clearly had nothing to do with the running of two race cars (no surprise, really, given the boundless competitive nature of this business). In any case, the pressure of work and pre-race weekend preparation no longer allowed time for such frivolity.”

Onboard lap of the Dublin F1 street course with Giedo van der Garde & Caterham F1 Team (Caterham via YouTube)

Formula One Betting: Expect The Unexpected In Montreal (Unibet)

My latest article for Unibet.

Comment of the day

Yobo01 on Sky Italia’s deal to broadcast more than half of next season’s races:

11 of the 20 races in 2013 will be only available on Sky here in Italy. So most of the races won’t be free-to-air, which is a very bad move in my opinion.

I’m quite upset, now I understand what you went through last year. If I think that I have to pay that much to watch races… Yeah, no, it’s better not to think about it.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Owen and Timtoo!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Ferrari won the 1952 Ulster Trophy at Dundrod, Piero Taruffi triumphing in the non-championship race.

Image © Jamey Price for F1 Fanatic

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Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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63 comments on “Kubica has further operation on elbow”

  1. Im not sure about you all, and I deeply dislike saying this but I’m giving up my hopes of seeing Kubica back in an F1 car, and his talent will be painfully missed.
    It wil be a year till he fully recovers, and even then he won’t be at 100% which I guess is the usual thing with sports injuries.

    T’is a shame that Italian F1 fans will not be able to watch all F1 racs on free-to-air. Us UK F1 fans know this all too well, with half the races on Sky Sports F1. Can’t wait for Bernie the rat to lea
    ve F1.

    1. I suppose it is hopeful that he only seems to be having this operation for the benefit of racing- it isn’t something he would bother having if he wasn’t planning a return on some level. To be honest, I’m slightly encouraged. Whether he can make it back to F1 is a big ask though.

      1. Yes, like most retired F1 drivers, they never fully leave motorsport in general. I expect Kubica to race probably in Touring cars of some sort. But a full return to F1, for me, is off the books.

        1. He can race in anything but single seater already, he underwent this operation in order to be back in F1, or at least have a real chance of doing so. He could have settled for rallying etc, but he didn’t. This surgery means he’s still in the fight for F1 comeback, but sadly the time is against him. He may comeback, but it might be to late for making an impact on F1.

    2. disgruntled
      7th June 2012, 1:03

      I predicted Robert wouldnt drive an F1 car competetively about half way through last season. I know a completely un related incident but it reminded me of Didier Pironi grim outcome. Im still hoping im wrong

      1. It’s nowhere near that bad. He’ll make enough of a recovery to live a normal life and possibly drive touring cars, just not enough to stand open-wheels.

        1. thats fine WEC wil lsmoke F1 and personally id love to see robert in a Toyota Lmp1 car

        2. He is already driving again, here’s a clip. :D

          I’m skeptical on his chances of driving in F1 again as a race driver, but am quite sure he’ll be capable of driving an F1 car again.

    3. @Zubair. Yup I too can’t wait for Bernie to go. He is screwing the F1 audiance numbers left, right and centre!!

  2. I might not be the most popular person to say this, but I’m afraid Kubica is done with racing. When was the last time we saw a driver, or any sportsman for that matter, have to abundant the sport for over a one-and a half years, and still suffer injuries and operations? Much less return and still be anywhere near as good as he was. It’s very sad to see a talented drivers career like that.

    1. Except that if the article is correct, this operation was purely for the sake of making able to race.

    2. I am convinced we will see Kubica racing again @kingshark, just it will probalby not be in F1 but rather Rally or the WEC or something like that.

    3. Agreed, I’m pretty sure we’ll never see him again in F1, he’s just been out too long, and even if this operation allowes him to turn his wrist again, he’ll have a long healing process ahead. With that much damage to his arm, I doubt he’ll ever be 100% again, and 100% is the minimum requirement to drive F1.

      He’d be lucky to get to drive touringcars or rallycars again, such a shame of such a talent.

    4. Maybe Robert’s case is more complicated, but Schumacher has undergone (at least) two surgeries. He’s broken his leg driving an F1 and another injury after the motorbike accident.

      1. Quite a serious neck injury I believe too.

      2. Breaking a leg is not as bad as a hand. The leg does not have to do complicated tasks in a F1 car; it only needs to be strong enough to deliver enough pressure to the corresponding pedal (remember Mark Webber who also broke his leg but was able to get back in the car after sufficiently healed, though with pain). Breaking a hand is a different matter: the hand both needs to steer and, more importantly, be able to hit the buttons on the steer lightning-quick and correctly. The muscles of a hand in a F1 cockpit never stay still and have to aliot of different movements; if they can’t handle it then you can’t drive an F1 car. On top of that, like mentioned, Kubica’s injury is hugely complicated. It’s not just a fracture, the whole hand basicilly was a mess, with multiple bones , muscles and being shred to pieces or atleast damaged. One might call it a wonder that they were able to safe hs hand.

        Schumacher did luck out though with his bike accident. He had fractures to his skull and injuries to his back. None complicated luckily and everything did heal. For Robert it would basicilly impossible that his hand will ever get back to the point before the accident.

    5. I have to agree with this. It never looked good from the beginning, he practically had his arm severed.

      I just finished 2nd year med school a couple weeks ago, so I’m by no means an authority, but the complexity of ‘fixing’ such an injury is simply immense: Nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones……and that’s just to make them ‘functional’ again. The forces that an F1 driver must be able to work within, and endure, are equally immense.

      To get the limb to be fully operational (just against the forces of gravity alone) is one thing, and amazingly difficult, but for him to be able to actually compete at 100%? That is a huge ask, and an unrealistic one, if I’m honest. And even going beyond that, if he did somehow manage to gain a good working level of operational ability, the limb would never be as strong and able as it were before. So what if he were to have another crash? It would take a lot less for someone in his condition to seriously injure that arm again, than someone with a fully functional limb. This would surely take a psychological toll on the driver…..in terms of commitment: Every corner, knowing that a serious or semi-serious impact could easily result in an injury? Could you ever fully put that to the back of your mind?

      I’m a massive fan of Kubica, and I would love to see a miracle here. But this is asking too much I think. I don’t think we will ever see him competing in F1 again. And if by some miracle that we do? He will not be anywhere near the same driver. Such a shame.

    6. I echo wilhelmet. Honestly I don’t think racing should be in the discusstion at this stage. He may or may not have guided his treatment with an eye on his career, but given his injuries, as fans our thoughts should be on whether he can again have a normal functioning of his hands and and a good quality of life, and on the long term health consequences of those injuries There are many things far more important than racing cars for which functioning hands are useful. If he were an accountant or cashier, these would be devastating injuries.

  3. Kubica would be tearing it up in 2012 for sure. Still praying for his return in the future, I’m not losing hope yet.

    1. I hoping he will make a comeback as well. Maybe not in 2013 but in 2014. There have been athletes who have defied the odds before, and I do not see why Kubica cannot be one of them.

      1. Mika Hakkinen being of them.

        Kubica hopefully can return and fulfill the promise he showed in 2008 and 2010.

        1. Niki Lauda being another. But Kubica has done more damage to himself than Hakkinen or Lauda did, in terms of wanting to make a comback. It’s probably one of the worst parts of his body he could have injured, I wish it weren’t true but the damage he has done to his hand makes me believe he won’t be in Formula One again. Hakkinen and Lauda both nearly died but Mika was back in time for the start of 1996, although still not fully fit, whereas Robert has been out now for nearly 18 months and counting and there is still no sign of the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of an F1 comeback.

          I could definitely see him doing touring cars or Le Mans maybe, I mean Alex Zanardi lost both his legs and he’s made a decent career in touring cars, but I just can’t see Kubica coming back to F1 with the extent of the injuries he’s suffered. Would be overjoyed to be proven wrong though.

          1. Well said. From a superficial point of view, Hakkinen’s and Lauda’s injuries looked a lot more serious. And in the moment, they were. But once you recover from such incidents, you are recovered, probably with only psychological issues remaining (and cosmetic, in Lauda’s case).

            But Kubica? A drivers hands/arms are like a sprinters’ legs. They are essential to the actual functioning of a driver. So while Zanardi lost his legs, he can still drive fine, because he has his arms. But damage your arms, and you’re in serious trouble.

            Once again, I would love to be proved wrong on Kubica…..but it was almost completely severed. That’s one step away from as bad as it gets, for a driver.

      2. Nikki Lauda, he made a miraculous recovery after his accident at the Nurburgring in 1976, although due to health & safety regulations one cannot simply return after a huge accident…

      3. I don’t even know where all these pessimistic views & attitudes have come from regarding Kubica, we should be hoping for the best rather than slating him off for a return to racing, which I’m finding quite ridiculous honestly. I’d much rather lament on the significance he possibly would’ve had to the championship last season & even more this season, now that we’re entering the ‘Golden Era’ at the pinnacle of motorsport. It’s an utter shame that people attempt to be realistic, end up being ill-logical & oblivious as if their professions in life are doctors in Sport, Physiologists & Psychologists, sadly the arrogance & implausible attitudes of some users is a con of this website.

        As for Robert, well in summary, anything is possible, impossible is nothing & those obstacles so seemly gigantic & rock-solid they can be over-comed by one like Robert, fueled with determination & the will to compromise just to step into a racing car at a top level category in motor-sport. I still believe & I hope others are with me.

        1. As I said above, I hope you’re right. I just don’t think you will be proven so. But nothing would make me happier than for you to be right. He is a ferocious talent, and it would be amazing to have him back.

        2. Nowhere did I say I didn’t want him to come back, I would be very happy to be proven wrong. But there is a fine line between optimism and burying your hand in the sand, which is what you are doing.

          You don’t know where the pessimism comes from? The guy nearly severed his arm 18 months ago, some might argue that that is a fairly significant obstacle for anyone to overcome, let alone a Formula One driver. I know all about Kubica’s determination, he showed before with his serious road accident in 2006 but there are some things the mind can’t overcome, and it is hardly unrealistic, or ridiculous as you say, to suggest he won’t return.

  4. I do hope some of the teams rekindle the boat race in Canada. Seeing some of the old races in previous season reviews were pretty hilarious.

    1. Here’s the boat race from 1990…
      (starts after 55 seconds)

      Looks like Ferrari had way too much time on their hands! Stick around for the track action, and you’ll see another red Italian machine with a gutless engine, as the Life attempts to pre-qualify…

  5. Esteban (@)
    7th June 2012, 1:57

    I don’t quite get the SKY OTA deal…

    I live in Mexico and as such I’ve suffered terrible transmisions over the years… Until internet.

    I watch all the races LIVE now, on internet. Granted, the quality is not great, but a couple hours after the race I download all of it and watch it again.

    I have a 5Mb plug, I’m guessing all you europeans already have at least that.

    1. @esteban so you’re another old victim of FOX Sports TERRIBLE coverage of the races? You know, Fernando Tornello, Adrian Puente and that mexican fella Chacho something?

      if so, good you left them! I’d rather pay for Sky than watch those guys taking rubbish at every single race. And we still have to pay for it…

      1. Esteban (@)
        7th June 2012, 4:40

        Yes, they are really really bad! But not as bad as the spanish guys from canal 5.

        But my point was: I’ve been watching the races live from 2008 (ITV) to now (BBC last year and SKY this year) and I haven’t paid a penny to anyone since then. Why should I?

        As I’ve said, you can watch them live over the internet, and download them later to enjoy them at whatever def you want.

        1. Terrible transmissions in Spain too (except Marc Gene). And probably the last year for free.

        2. I haven’t paid a penny to anyone since then. Why should I?

          Because it’s theft?

          1. I would certainly not call watching a sport through the Internet theft @danbrown180, after all, you do not take anything from anyone. A better comparison is climbing the fence to the swimming pool, or sneaking into a concert/cinema – you get something without paying admission.

          2. Esteban (@)
            7th June 2012, 17:02

            American aren’t you? (No offense meant, just you guys seem to think in black/white terms.)

            No, it is not theft. Same with piracy, one thing is stealing; copying is not stealing (not saying I do, just I understand the terms.)

            I’m not paying hundreds of dollars a year for a broadcasting service only for this one show I want to watch. Especially when the prices here are astronomic.

            Especially when we had for YEARS free over-the-air national coverage of all the races.

            And by the way, theft would be for me to get a hacked antenna (which are very easily available here) to watch all the channels for free.

  6. I was at the Dublin event. Total rainout but the noise was insane. I got way closer than when I attended my last GP. You can feel the reverberations inside your chest cavity and I had to physically recoil from the barrier at one point near the end of the day as Van der Garde blasted the throttle right beside me. Well worth the cold and the rain.

    1. Never was fan of drag racing, but if you have a Top Fuel event somewhere near you. It’s a live time experience.

  7. That move by Sky Italy is exactly what I expected after the UK deal was announced. A first step and model to follow to get F1 and Pay TV together everywhere (less and less countries left with free to air showing F1 now.)

    1. Unfortunately I seriously doubt I’ll subscribe to Sky. I’ll have to watch, when I can, the races on the Internet (and I guess GP2 as well), but, at a time when my love for F1 has diminished a little, this news hurts me badly.

      1. pluk (@peteleeuk)
        7th June 2012, 15:02

        Sucks, doesn’t it. Especially when they come in, charge you money, then provide something inferior to what you were getting before for less or free. I guess we’ll see them charge across the world with motor sports coverage now until they own and destroy everything.

        I do smile at all those saying they’d love the option of paying for Sky instead of the tripe Fox gives them. Sky and Fox are the same company! It’s a race to the bottom of quality and height of price.

  8. I’ve been pessimistic about Kubica’s return since his crash. To be perfectly honest, I’m less so now…

    To recover from a massive crash like that is ridiculously difficult, but as a F1 fan, who supports Kubica, not just due to him being Polish (to be fair, I don’t really care about that as such), but because he has managed to advance into the pinnacle of motorsport without any backing and without any money whatsoever. I appreciate that. A lot.

    The fragment of the article does not portray most of the situation. He has been driving a simulator, but he struggles to turn left. I see the man sacrificing everything to turn the wheel of a single seater again, and for some reason, this gives me confidence. As a massive fan of F1 pre- and post-Kubica, I have to admit, it is less exciting without someone to cheer for without any rational reason per se (usually I cheer for the best, such as Alonso, or the good, yet laid back, such as the Finns, usually…). As a Pole, it was pretty awesome to see a Pole being talented, especially because he managed to achieve what he has through hard work rather than anything else.

    On the other hand, I find it disrespectful and nonchalant of him to go rallying in a low-tier event just for his own pleasure. He neglected loads of staff who put their hope into him and his attitude seemed to be beyond arrogant. Yet, I can identify with that sort of attitude…

    Despite his, I see him a) learning from his mistakes, and b) recovering (sooner or later) from his injuries and managing to show what he can do. At the end of the day, to me, he is more of a guy who simply enjoys racing and likes what he’s doing, so I wish him all the best in his attempt to come back strong. As much as he screwed up, he did not mean to, and if he were to be as good as before, I think the lesson he has learnt will make him a much better driver.

    Now, please, let the simulator and operation be a good sign :)

    1. I’m with you @Victor! Someone above already mentioned Hakkinen, but let’s not forget Schumi, Lauda and even Herbert.
      With determination – and Robert certainly has that – it is possible!

      Maybe Ferrari will keep massa to keep the Seat vacant for Kubica!

    2. Excellent comment Victor. Enjoyed reading it and completely agree with everything you said.

    3. @victor As I share almost everything of your comment, I wouldn’t go that far of calling him arrogant because he participated in rally. For me, it is being faithfull to yourself, it is like braking the “rules” for the sake of satisfying your own passion. I am bicycle racer myself, and my activity on the bike has not been confined only to racing, but to everything else involving a bike. God knows how much I enjoyed every bit of it and how much these excursions out of the ordinary help improving a lot.

    4. @victor i’m indian, i wish i could speak something good about KAR. i know hes just there cause of the financial back up. and thats the reason somebody more deserving doesn’t have a seat.

  9. Good news on Robert Kubica. It shows that a year and a half later he still hasn’t given up.

  10. I think that it’s clear that, unfortunately, Kubica won’t be back in F1. He has a patched up elbow and he isn’t quite a “marketable” person. In previous years we have seen some new, fresh poster-boys with excellent PR training from various exotic countries injecting fresh air and money into the sport. There is more buzz around new guys who can potentially be something in future – like Perez.

    No one will risk with “some kind of pole” with bad elbow and no financial backing, when they can have 18 year old guy X from country Y (preferably middle eastern or other, exotic, one) with financial backing from corporation Z. Pity.

    1. I dunno, if Kubica can recapture his old form before he crash, he’d be as hot a property as any other driver on the grid.

      1. If a cup falls down on floor and gets broken, you can glue it together – piece by piece like a puzzle – but it will never be as good as it was before.

  11. I have to say, every time I read one of Keith’s Unibet columns, I start thinking “Man, you drew an unlucky year to start writing an F1 betting column!”

    I haven’t seen consistent odds this year from Anyone, other than that HRT arent going to win.

    1. In this situation, someone with Keith’s knowledge would have a greater advantage in betting. However, obviously, I’m sure his work for Unibet prevents him from casting his own bets anywhere.

  12. I found an article that I hadn’t seen before (june 5th) quite interesting: Autosport: Massa pins hopes on Monaco set-up in which Massa says he went so well in Monaco not bc. of improved car, but largely thanks to a street circuit set up.

    So does that mean that Massa runs best with loads of grip and soft suspension then? Guess we’ll see him do well at Hungary, Singapore, and then others depending on how much time they have to figure out what tweaks are needed to make it work in Canada etc.?

    But nice to hear more about factors that influence Massa, I hope he can make it work, sad to see him unable to do anything with his car.

  13. Kubica would be deeply regretting that day since it has almost ended his F1 career.

  14. I really wish Kubica would go to r ace and just wave the chequered flag or something. I appreciate he probably doesn’t want to be in the environment as a spectator but it would be fantastic to see him. I don’t see him returning to the sport, not because of his injuries but just because there is so much competition out there. Raikkonen and Schumacher returned on the tails of world championship victories and they are proven race winners. Kubica doesn’t have that luxury.

  15. I have hope for Robert because Ferrari still have hope. They have stated multiple times that if and when he’s ready, he’ll have an opportunity at Ferrari. They’ve offered him use of the simulator for training whenever he would like it. I have a feeling part of the reason Massa is still in his race seat at Ferrari is because Robert wasn’t ready to replace him for 2012 (or 2011, even).

    I was there in Montreal in 2008 with my grandfather of Polish heritage. He cried watching Robert Kubica win that grand prix, and it made me cry too. The whole venue was awash with good feelings and pride at seeing Robert win his first race. At seeing BMW-Sauber win its first race. I so wish for him to be back in F1 so it might be possible for him to win another.

  16. As much as I would like to see Robert back in F1, I just can’t really see it happening. I think he’ll more likely continue to race elsewhere in another category, possibly rallying or touring cars. I’d love to see another ex-F1 driver in the WTCC.

  17. Robert is not the guy who does something on 50% or even 90%. If he comes back, it means he’s ready to win WDC and deserves a car capable of winning. His comeback would shake the whole paddock and it would be historical return for books.
    If he doesn’t come back though, it means nature was too cruel and he won’t even come as a spectator to a single GP and will continue to drive his good old Clio 1600 in Toscania… I still hope for the former to happen…

  18. Theres a lot of fortune tellers who are so sure kubica wont return, but they do not realise kubica has been doing hours a day rehab, all his injuries are said to have healed, including movement in fingers, kubica has driven rally cars in the last few months, and been in a single seat simulator (dallara it is believed), he then chose to have this corrective surgery, as he is still focused on the aim to return to f1.
    here is a video of him driving a rally car recently, on that day he drove times faster on that circuit then he did at the same circuit before the accident.
    you guys should download the latest “autosport digital magazine” from autosport.com which speaks of all of this, it came out yesterday and has kubica on the cover.
    driving a rally car instead of some touring racing car first shows how much balls he has, after a terrifying rally crash, he returns to a rally car! to me that shows he is mentally strong for a possible return, and is not scared.

    in 6 weeks the kubica will have healed from the operation and then it will be know if he can rotate the arm properly again.

    1. sorry i meant all the injuries beside the elbow, which has resulted in this surgery. but shoulder, leg etc and feeeling in hand.

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