Rally Crash Leaves Kubica Fighting for F1 Future

Never mind title fights, championship points or bragging rights- there is only one fight that matters at the moment- the fight of Robert Kubica’s to save his Formula One career.

Kubica

Robert Kubica © Formula One Management 2010

The highly rated Polish driver, 26 was not so long ago tipped to join Fernando Alonso at Ferrari. However after a high speed shunt into a church wall which caused multiple fractures to his leg and arm as well as partially severing his right hand- a hand he previously had titanium bolts inserted to in 2003 after being a passenger in a car crash leaves huge doubts whether he will get to drive again.

The hand is the injury currently causing most concern- while it has been operated on, the big question is will it regain full functionality? If yes- we could see Kubica back within a year. If no- then it is instantly game over.

One thing is for certain- he won’t be in Bahrain and the question many are asking is who will cover. Eric Boullier, Renault boss made it clear this morning in an interview with the BBC.

“We are already starting to think and work on a contingency plan,” commented Boullier. “We don’t know yet, we are actually waiting to know how long it will take because [if it is] a short-term replacement we will take one of our reserve drivers; if he has to be longer we may have to consider different options”.

The way I percieve it is this. IF Kubica was to be ready by the Spanish Grand Prix, then I would presume Bruno Senna would get the seat. The name Senna has a huge marketing appeal due to his uncle Ayrton’s successes in the 1980s-early 1990s and this is particuarly valuable to chief sponsor Lotus who at present under Dany Bahar seem keen to sign up every famous name going (whether its for marketing or to annoy Tony Fernandes I will leave to your own imagination!).

However- and I see this as the most likely scenario- if Kubica was to be out for the rest of the season as his surgeon has told the media- then Boullier would have to bring in an experienced hand. The name that screams out at me is that of ex Sauber, Prost and Williams pilot Nick Heidfield, 33. Currently out of work after being favoured by Mexican Sergio Perez at Sauber, Heidfeld is regarded as a steady driver who can be relied on to do a solid job- and is experienced.

Several media outlets have tipped Nico Hulkenburg but to be honest, if you are going to change Senna you might as well go for someone with more experience rather than the same experience (they both had their debuts last season with Hispania and Williams respectively).

Another option available is Pedro De La Rosa- however given his part-season with Sauber was quite mediocre and he was frequently outpaced by Kamui Kobayashi, I don’t see this happening.

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