Kubicas Comeback Blocked by Doctors

By: Anthony Fontanelle

BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica was not allowed by the doctors to race this weekend at Indianapolis. Despite passing the FIA's cognitive and physical examination last Thursday, the doctors said that it will be too risky for Kubica to have a second accident so soon after a concussion because it could result to serious injury.

The Pole, who was hospitalized with a sprained ankle, minor bruising and a mild concussion after his terrible accident in the Canadian Grand Prix, told reporters last Thursday that he is feeling no ill-effects and wants to race at Indianapolis.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli visited the Pole in hospital. "Apparently, it was the front wing, when we [Trulli] touched, which went under the car and lifted my car up and I couldn't steer any more, which is why I went off," explained the Polish driver. "I was not expecting it, we touched, the front wing went under the car and I had no more control. When I was on the outside of the track on the grass, suddenly I took something which lifted up my car pretty much and I hit the wall. When I stopped, I stopped. And, when I stopped, I realized I was not in bad shape. That was very important for me."

Unfortunately, after the examination led by the FIA's medical delegate Gary Hartstein inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's medical centre in the afternoon, it was decided that the Pole should not return to the race track this Sunday. The 22-year-old Kubica will be examined again at Magny Cours in two weeks' time but, given that he passed both the cognitive and physical elements of the FIA tests here, it is almost certain that Kubica will resume his seat for the French Grand Prix.

"Naturally I'm disappointed because I felt absolutely ready to race. But I respect the decision. It was made because there is too much risk to let me race in this Grand Prix in case I have had another impact so soon after Montreal. I will go home now. I wish Sebastian all the best. It is good for him and I am pretty sure he will do a good job," Kubica commented.

"In reviewing the accident and medical examination the doctors did not give Robert the green light to race. There will be another medical check before the race in Magny-Cours," said BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "Although the doctors see Robert in a remarkably good condition they will not let him race here mainly because of the risk of another impact. We respect the decision of the medical personnel. The team was prepared for this situation. Sebastian will receive all possible support from us and we hope for another good race here."

Kubica's place will be taken by BMW test driver Sebastian Vettel, who will make his grand prix debut on Sunday at the age of nineteen. German Vettel will be racing alongside Nick Heidfeld, a team regular. For Vettel, Sunday's race will be his Formula One race debut. "Of course, I am looking forward to my first F1 race", the 19-year old German said, "but I wish it had come under different circumstances. It's never nice if a team mate can't drive because he had an accident."

He noted, "For me the Indianapolis Speedway is unknown territory, but I have prepared myself for this situation and tomorrow I have two 90 minute practice sessions. I know the car very well as I have quite a lot of testing miles under my belt." Vettel could rely on a BMW relay, race parts and his racing prowess to make his Formula One dream a reality.

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