Kubica Ready to Race at Indy

By: Anthony Fontanelle

BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica has amazingly been given the all-clear to race in this weekend's US Grand Prix in Indianapolis - just two days after his horrific crash in Montreal. The Polish BMW driver discharged himself from hospital on Monday in remarkably good shape and was able to drive himself away.

"As you see I'm quite in good shape and I'm hoping (to be) going to Indianapolis if the doctors will say OK for my driving," Kubica told reporters outside Montreal's Sacre-Coeur Hospital. "I feel very good. I was very lucky - big accident, but fortunately, nothing hurt," he added after walking gingerly down the steps of the hospital. "Mario Theissen and other team members came to visit me and also thanks to Jarno Trulli who came as well."

"The doctors here have given him the all-clear to race," said the spokesperson of the Formula One team. Nonetheless, the mandatory 'black box' aboard his destroyed single-seat car mirrored a 28G impact at about 90 degrees. In addition, Kubica's mild concussion means that Sebastian Vettel or Timo Glock could still be called up to take his place.

And "the peak value [of the impact] would be clearly higher than 28G, given the damage to the chassis," a BMW engineer added. The reliability of , brakes, and other performance parts has significantly contributed to the unscathed Kubica. Radio-Canada estimated the actual moment of impact at over 40G. "In my day, if you had a crash like that, you would be dead, no doubt about it," said Niki Lauda. Lauda nearly died in a comparable head-on crash back in 1976.

"I think he wouldn't have survived something like this ten years ago," the website www.autosport.com quoted team boss Mario Theissen as saying. The accident highlighted the efficacy of safety measures implemented in the previous years, particularly the head and neck safety device (HANS) and reinforced cockpits.

The Pole will undergo on Thursday a mandatory 25-minute examination by the FIA's doctors, where his reaction time, coordination and mental capacities will be compared with a 'control' test that all drivers go through each season.

The 22-year-old BMW Sauber driver said that he had not yet decided if he wanted to watch replays of the crash. "I saw it when I was in the car," he said. Kubica said that he remembered "nearly everything" about the crash. The accident occurred when Kubica's car made contact with the rear wheels of Jarno Trulli's Toyota on the approach to the hairpin on lap 27 on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit. Kubica's car took off, flying through the air and slamming into a concrete wall before barrel-rolling across the track. As a result, Kubica's car was horribly smashed.

Theissen is happy for Kubica to race at Indianapolis this weekend, just seven days after the crash in Canada. He will leave it up to the chief medical officer of Formula One's governing body FIA to make the decision about Kubica's fitness to drive in the upcoming race.

Theissen admitted that last Sunday's race, in which BMW Sauber's other driver Nick Heidfeld came second behind Lewis Hamilton, had provoked mixed emotions following Kubica's crash. "Seeing the first impact in the replay gave us all a huge shock. I was waiting on the pit wall watching the screens until the rescue work was completed and then went over to the Medical Centre to see Robert. Having established that he had not suffered any serious injuries, I returned to the team to tell them the good news and followed the remainder of the race from the pit wall," he added.

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