Formula One star Robert Kubica has been seriously injured while competing in a rally in Italy. The Lotus Renault driver, 26, was 4.6km into the stage in a Skoda Fabia when the car went off the road and hit a wall. His co-driver Jacub Gerber got out unhurt while Kubica had to be extracted and taken by helicopter to hospital. There were no immediate details of his injuries but a Renault spokesman confirmed he was conscious.
Local health authority officials in Italy said Kubica’s life was not in danger, and that the worst damage appeared to be to his limbs. “Certainly it is a very delicate situation, as the first hours always are after a huge trauma, one in which there could also have been a strong bleeding,” Roberto Carrozzino, a local health authority official, told Sky Italia.
The ANSA news agency reported that an operation on the 26-year-old driver began just before 1300 GMT after professor Igor Rossello, a hand specialist, was called to the hospital.
Kubica, eighth in last year’s F1 world championship, now looks unlikely to race at Bahrain on March 13. His team said in a statement that Kubica “suffered an accident at high speed this morning while competing in the Ronde di Andora Rally” and was “airlifted to Pietra Ligure Hospital, where he is currently undergoing medical checks.”
Carrozzino said the driver underwent an examination to assess any possible damage to internal organs and the brain. Asked about a report that one his arms would be amputated, Carrozzino said that “all assessments have yet to be made.”“An amputation is not a decision that is made so rapidly,” he said.