Formula 1 star Robert Kubica suffered fractures to his right arm, leg and hand and is undergoing surgery after a rally crash in Italy on Sunday morning.
The 26-year-old Pole hit a church wall at high speed and was air-lifted by helicopter to a hospital near Genoa.
His British-based Renault team said the driver was being operated on following extensive checks in Peitra Ligure.
Kubica, whose right hand is badly injured, is likely to miss the start of the F1 season in Bahrain on 13 March.
His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, but following surgery in 2003 after a serious road accident as a passenger that left him with titanium bolts in his arm, there will be doubts about his ability to continue in the sport.
His manager Daniele Morelli told reporters at the hospital: "Surgeons are trying to re-establish the functionality of his right hand."
He added: "Robert is very strong and he will do it."
The latest Renault statement read: "After undergoing extensive medical checks this morning, Robert Kubica has been diagnosed with multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand.
"He is currently undergoing surgery at the Santa Corona Hospital in Peitra Ligure."
An update has been released on Robert Kubica's condition following his rallying crash in Italy this morning, with the Lotus Renault GP star having been diagnosed with multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand, his team has revealed in an official statement.
Following a high-speed accident less than five kilometres into the second edition of the Ronde di Andora Rally close to Genoa today (Sunday), Kubica was airlifted to the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure, where he has since undergone extensive medical checks and is currently undergoing surgery.
The greatest fear is for the Pole's hand, which has reportedly been crushed and risks requiring amputation. The other concern is that following an F3 accident back in 2003 that left him with a broken arm, should the latest injury complicate that fracture, it could seriously endanger or even destroy his F1 career.
Robert Kubica will be out of action for up to a year following his crash in a rally event in Italy. However, it is possible the injuries he suffered may bring down the curtain on his Formula One career.
Prof Igor Rossello, who operated on Kubica at the Santa Corona hospital, said the lengthy operation involved the "reconstruction [of] the whole anatomy of the forearm". He continued that while the operation on Kubica's badly-damaged hand had gone well, the next five to seven days were crucial as it was in that period that things could still go wrong.
When pressed, Rossello said it would be a year before Kubica can hope to have proper use of his right arm again, although he added "drivers are always very special patients".
.....Surgeons treating injured Lotus Renault GP star Robert Kubica have said that they are satisfied with the Pole's progress 24 hours on from the accident that appeared to have cast a pall over his racing career.
The latest medical update from the team reports that, after a night spent in an induced coma, Kubica's general condition is 'much better, even though no-one is pretending that he is through the worst of his ordeal following a high speed crash on the Ronda di Andora rally in Italy. The Pole suffered multiple fractures to his right leg, arm and hand, with injuries to the latter initially being thought bad enough to warrant possible amputation. A seven-hour surgical process appears to have alleviated those fears, although it is unlikely that Kubica will be back behind the wheel of a competition car in 2011.
"After spending the night under constant observation, he was briefly woken up by the doctors of the Santa Corona Hospital (Pietra Ligure) this morning, [and] was then able to talk to his relatives" the latest medical update revealed, "He was also able to move his fingers, which is encouraging for the rest of his recovery process.
"Professor Mario Igor Rossello, director for the Regional Centre of Hand Surgery at San Paolo Hospital in Savona, did not notice any swelling or infection on his right forearm, and this is another good sign, although it will be several days before it is known if the operation has been 100 per cent successful.
"In order to avoid any physical stress, Robert will be put under gentle medication in order to sleep for the next 24 hours at least. Meanwhile, the doctors will decide how they will treat his elbow and shoulder fractures. Robert may have to undergo surgery once again for this, but not for a few days.
"Lotus Renault GP wishes to thank the Hospital of San Paolo (Savona) and the Santa Corona Hospital (Pietra Ligure) for their professional approach and their dedication."
The team has said that it expects to issue another update on Kubica's condition later this evening.
I hate to be the pessimist here but having worked with these type of injuries and from what the surgeon described Kubica's hand is in very bad shape.It seems the hand was partially severed.Seems like he was trapped inside the car for a while which made everything worse.Nerve damage is irreversible. It would be a miracle if full functionality were to be restored.The next couple of days are crucial to see if the operation was successful.Wish him a speedy recovery.
Kubica recovering as Renault weighs potential replacements
The Lotus Renault GP team has issued another update on the progress of its star pilot Robert Kubica. The Polish driver, for those who haven't been following, crashed during the Ronde di Andorra in Italy on Sunday – just weeks before the start of the F1 season – and was airlifted to a local hospital where doctors treated him for multiple fractures and severed tendons in his right limbs.
With the bulk of the procedures now behind him, Kubica is conscious (some reports state that he was revived from a medically-induced coma), and conversing with his doctors as well as visiting relatives and colleagues. Later this week, Kubica will have to undergo additional surgery (for his right shoulder and foot), to be followed by another procedure a few days later. He's expected to stay at the Santa Corona Hospital where he has been since the crash for another two or three weeks, after which he'll likely be transfered to another location to rehabilitate, likely for between five months and a full year.
With his recovery underway but a long road ahead, Renault will need to find someone to temporarily take his place for the impending season. Although the team has both Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean – both recent F1 drivers – on contract, the team is reportedly examining all of its options. Among them are Force India drivers Tonio Liuzzi and Nico Hulkeberg, both of which raced last season and have proven themselves competitive drivers. Liuzzi lost his seat this year at Force India, while Hulkenberg took a test-driver role with the team when he lost his seat at Williams.
Renault are in big trouble.They need someone with experience to develop the car & who on the current list of probables has experience developing a car.Nick Heidfeld should be the best bet at the moment.I wish all this talk about Räikkönen earlier had been true,but that seems like just a lot of hot air.
While I'd love to have them give Senna a chance in what was the fastest car last week if It were my team I'd put Hulkenberg in there. Heidfeld is good but I dont think he has the potential that Hulkenberg does.
No more F-150 jokes.Whats's in a name?Apparently a lawsuit.Ford is suing Ferrari for using the name of their truck .Who didn't see this coming?So Ferrari reacted faster than a pitstop changing the name to 'F150th Italia' .Very creative
Ecclestone: Bahrain GP fate to be decided next week
Bernie Ecclestone: "If things stay as they are today, the answer is no. If it's not quietened down by Wednesday, I think we will have to cancel probably. If you are making travel arrangements, I'd say don't."
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that a decision will be made next week with regard to whether or not to cancel the F1 2011 season opener in Bahrain, scheduled for March 13.
The viability of the event has come into question in light of civil unrest, with four people having been killed and several hundred injured in clashes between protesters and government security forces. The GP2 Asia Series event at the Bahrain International Circuit this weekend was scratched from the calendar in the interests of safety on Thursday [see separate story – crash.net/gp2/news/].
Speaking to Reuters, Ecclestone conceded that currently he is not especially optimistic.
“We'll make a decision by Tuesday or Wednesday,” he stated. “If things stay as they are today, the answer is no. If it's not quietened down by Wednesday, I think we will have to cancel probably. If you are making travel arrangements, I'd say don't.”
Earlier this week Ecclestone said that with the grand prix now less than four weeks away and a prior four-day group test planned at Sakhir for the beginning of March, 'the danger is obvious' [see separate story – click here].
Following that the organisers put out a statement to try quell fears that attendees will be putting themselves at any risk, although despite those assurances, the GP2 Asia Series event was still canned.
The BIC reiterated last night though, that they haven't given up hope of holding the event: "Our focus at the present time remains on delivering another successful event," said circuit CEO Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.
"We continue to monitor the situation very closely indeed in association with the relevant authorities. Our priority at this time is ensuring the well-being of everyone associated with this event, and we will respond appropriately to any further developments."
Crown Prince Salman ibn Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa to make final decision on whether the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead
Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he will leave a decision on whether or not the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead to the country's Crown Prince.
The opening round of the 2011 F1 season is in doubt after political unrest in the Gulf state led to violent clashes between police and protestors – with a number of people killed and scores injured.
Ecclestone expects a decision on whether or not the event will go ahead as planned to be taken this week, although he hasn't ruled out the possibility that Bahrain could be moved to a date later in the year.
He does however insist that another event wouldn't replace Bahrain on its scheduled date to the logistical nightmare it would create.
Crown Prince Salman ibn Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa will now make the decision on whether or not it is safe for the event to take place.
"He will know whether it's safe for us to be there," Ecclestone told the BBC. "I've no idea. I'm not there, so I don't know. We won't advise people to go unless it's safe."
The Foreign Office has already advised against anything other than essential travel to the country due to the ongoing situation, while the teams have said they will back whatever decision is taken.
Barcelona F1 test times - day three: 20 February - 3pm
On a drying circuit in Barcelona, Vitaly Petrov moves to the front as the clock strikes 3pm
Full lap times as of 3pm local time on the third day of the four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.
1. Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault GP-Renault 1m 26.233s
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m 26.819s
3. Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 26.877s
4. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m 27.218s
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 27.793s
6. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m 27.810s
7. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m 27.819s
8. Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 28.329s
9. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m 29.774s
10. Giorgio Mondini Hispania-Cosworth 1m 29.829s
11. Narain Karthikeyan Hispania-Cosworth 1m 30.722s
12. Felipe Massa Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 31.021s
13. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m 31.436s
14. Jarno Trulli Team Lotus-Renault 1m 32.175s