I was going to do a quite lengthy post about the new McLaren that was revealed on Friday, because some of its more intricate details are shrouded in mystery, but Lotus Renault F1 driver Robert Kubica's massive crash over the weekend feels infinitely more important.
I have always liked Robert Kubica. First F1 driver from Poland, won his first (and so far only) F1 race in Canada in 2008, one year after he had a massive crash at the same circuit. He is very down to earth, funny and all-round professional. I remember watching a press conference where an interviewer asked him if he had seen his Canada 2007 crash on TV. His answer: "I saw it also live, when I was there." Not to mention that he is rated (also by people who know a lot more about F1 than me) as one of the top 5 drivers out there.
Kubica likes rallying and had a clause added in his contract that he was allowed to compete in certain rally events. One of these being the Ronde di Andorra rally this past weekend. He and his co-driver were about 4 minutes into their run when he hit a wall and crashed rear-first into the edge of a crash barrier. The barrier pierced through the back of the car and partially severed his lower right arm and caused multiple injuries to his right leg. His co-driver fortunately escaped uninjured. Robert was stuck in the car for at least an hour and lost a lot of blood. It was feared that his entire lower right arm would have to be amputated, but fortunately, after seven hours of surgery, the doctors restored basic functionality to his hand and are confident he will recover.
Doctors estimate he will be out for about a year, but added that F1 drivers, because of their immense fitness, recover a lot quicker than us regular folk. Nevertheless, he will almost certainly miss the first few races of the new season. Renault have appointed no fewer than five reserve/back-up/test drivers, so they will certainly find someone to replace him.
I hope Robert will make a speedy recovery and would like to wish him all the best.
If you are interested in the importance of having a good pair of hands while controlling an F1 car, you might like to read this very insightful article by 13 time Grand Prix-winner David Coulthard.