Kubica to Return to Bmw Saubers Seat

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Robert Kubica is all but certain to return to BMW Sauber's race seat at the French Grand Prix in two weeks' time. The Pole missed Sunday's Indy race after picking up a concussion and a sprained ankle in a terrible crash in Montreal.

BMW motorsport boss Mario Theissen has confirmed that the Polish driver will return to his race seat as soon as he is fit to do so, despite the strong showing of his replacement Sebastian Vettel. Theissen is confident that Kubica will be fit to race in the French Grand Prix.

Kubica narrated his horrific Montreal crash, "Apparently, it was the front wing, when we [Toyota's Jarno 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. 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."

Asked how many g-forces driver Robert Kubica sustained in his Montreal crash, Theissen has this to say: "There is a data recorder from the FIA, and there are several results depending on where they are in the car. But on average, you could say Kubica had to sustain an impact of 50 g's."

In Kubica's absence, back-up driver Sebastian Vettel impressed, taking a point for the team after starting the race in seventh. Reliable BMW spoilers and race parts coupled with effective race maneuvers helped Vettel performed well. The replacement racer picked up the only point for BMW Sauber in the race after number one driver Nick Heidfeld was forced out with an inopportune hydraulics problem with a quarter of the race remaining.

Kubica was prevented from taking part in the US Grand Prix after suffering a horrific crash the week before in Canada. Kubica FIA doctors deemed it to be too risky for him should he suffer another accident so soon after the concussion he sustained in Montreal. Theissen was earlier quoted saying: "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. 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."

The Polish driver claimed that he was fit to drive but doctors feared the consequences if he suffered another impact in Indianapolis and denied Kubica the chance of a quick return. Vettel, a highly-rated German 19-year-old, stepped in to replace Kubica and has performed very well on his grand prix debut, qualifying seventh for Sunday's race.

But Theissen has moved to suppress speculation that a good performance from Vettel would pressure Kubica's race seat on his return to full fitness saying there was no way the German rookie would retain his place. "As soon as Robert is cleared he will be in the car again," he said. Asked if a podium finish from Vettel would change the situation, Theissen responded unequivocally: "Absolutely not. Even if he wins the race!"

Theissen said that despite Vettel's valiance, if all goes to plan Kubica will be back in the driving seat at Magny-Cours. "Robert will have another check-up in Magny-Cours. Without wanting to preempt the doctors, I'm expecting it to be positive. As soon as we get the all clear from the doctors, Robert will be straight back in the driving seat," he noted.

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