November 21, 2011 (F1plus Team).- Lotus Renault GP has officially informed that Robert Kubica will not be fit enough to return to Formula 1 for the start of the 2012 season. The Pole still continues to recover from his near-fatal rallying accident of February, and even though he is now able to walk freely plus move his hand and elbow, he feels more recuperation is necessary to deal with the rigors of a Formula 1 championship and car.
Following the heavy crash in which Kubica totaled his car, the driver was even placed into an induced coma, given the extent of his injuries. By the time the F1 season began in Melbourne, there was hope or speculation- that he could race again before the end of the year, although regaining full movement in his right hand has been a crucial aspect that took more and dedicated time.
“Even if 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,” he says. “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 percent 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.”
LRGP has released a statement in which it confirms that a car will be ready for Kubica to test whenever he is able to, stressing that his management has already engaged in talks relating to the 2013 Formula 1 season.
“Everybody in the team is, of course, very disappointed today,” adds Team Principal Eric Boullier. “Robert not driving in Australia at the start of next season is not what we were all hoping for. 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 percent behind him and we’ll help as much as we can. A programme composed of simulator testing, single-seater and F1 track time is awaiting him. In the meantime, we will start talking to a few drivers in order to finalise our line-up for next year as soon as possible.
“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.”
Kubica’s F1 debut came for BMW at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, achieving a podium finish in Italy just two races later before notching up a career-first pole position and Grand Prix victory at Bahrain and Canadian races in 2008, respectively.
The news means Renault can now enter serious talks with other drivers for 2012 to partner Vitaly Petrov, who has a contact with the team. GP2 champion Romain Grosjean is believed to be a front-runner while current driver Bruno Senna is also in talks.