Kubica to miss start of 2012 F1 season
Enstone, England: Formula One team Renault has confirmed Robert Kubica will miss at least the early part of the 2012 season as he struggles to recover from serious injuries sustained in a rally crash this year.
Renault had been hoping Kubica would be fit to resume his role as the team's No. 1 driver from the start of 2012 but said yesterday he will not be ready to do so.
"Everybody in the team is, of course, very disappointed today," Renault team principal Eric Boullier said in a statement. "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."
The team said a preparation programme of "simulator testing, single-seater and F1 track time" was being designed for Kubica for when he is ready to resume and talks were on about extending his contract.
Renault said it would talk to "a few drivers" as it assesses its options for next season. Current drivers Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna and test driver Romain Grosjean are leading candidates for the race seats.
Kubica sustained life-threatening injuries in a crash in the Ronde di Andora rally in Italy on February 6. He suffered massive injuries to the right side of his body, almost severing his forearm, and with fractures to his leg and shoulder.
Renault said he can walk freely and has regained movement in his elbow and hand, but will need more rehabilitation to attain the high fitness required for F1.
"Even if I've been working 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," Kubica said.