Kubica could race again this year, says manager

Monaco: Robert Kubica could race again this season and Renault team owner Gerard Lopez was wrong to write off the injured Formula One driver`s chances last week, according to the Pole`s manager Daniele Morelli.

Morelli said it would be August before a clear picture emerged but was adamant that Lopez, whose Genii Capital owns the Lotus-backed team, had erred in telling Spanish radio that Kubica would not race in 2011.

"I think you have to ask Lopez why he made such a statement that is in clear opposition to what the specialists are saying," the manager told Reuters and two Polish reporters at the Monaco Grand Prix.

"All the doctors, not only ours... are not writing off Robert for this season. I think that Lopez`s statement is incorrect."

Lopez also told the Onda Cero station that Kubica, who has been replaced by experienced German stand-in Nick Heidfeld, might take part in a Friday practice session at some point.

Morelli said that was a surprising thing to say to someone of Kubica`s calibre.

"Robert when he will be back, he will be back for racing and there will be no need to make a control of his capability in a Friday session," he said.

"If Robert is sufficiently fit to drive a Formula One car for one lap he can do it for a whole weekend."

The Pole suffered a life-threatening accident on Feb. 6 when he crashed while competing in a minor rally in northern Italy, with a steel barrier penetrating the cockpit and severing tendons and nerves in his hand.

Kubica, a race winner with BMW-Sauber in Canada in 2008 and seen as a potential future Formula One champion, lost a huge amount of blood while trapped in the car and then required multiple operations.

The Monaco resident spent more than two months in hospital in Italy, leaving at the end of April.

"Since then there was an important improvement of his general condition," said Morelli, who expected Kubica to be driving a road car again in the next few weeks.

"He`s working a lot, we have a standard of five hours a day for the rehabilitation of the leg and of his arm. There are no complications at this stage and we are forecasting August as the month when we will have a clearer idea of when Robert can be back.

"Altogether all the affected parts are improving, and there are no major risks at this stage like infections."

The manager said Kubica could recover quicker than expected because of his age and fitness. He was already able to grab things with the hand and just lacked muscle strength after being bed-ridden for so long.

"In this kind of situation you cannot really forecast and predict what will be the final functionality of the wounded parts," he added.

Morelli said grand prix weekends were difficult for Kubica, watching his rivals compete on Sunday from the privacy of his Monaco apartment, and the Pole had decided not to visit the paddock to avoid being mobbed by well-wishers.

"He will come back when he will wear his overalls," he said.

Bureau Report

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