Bmw Sauber Team Boss Hopes Kubica Can Race at US Grand Prix

By: Anthony Fontanelle

At the Canadian Grand Prix, BMW Sauber posted their best finish this season with a second place finish for German Formula One driver Nick Heidfeld. This feat strengthened their hold on the third spot in the constructor's championship. They also increased their lead over fourth place team Renault.

During the race though, one of the team's drivers, Robert Kubica, met an accident which is dubbed the most horrific high speed crash in recent memory. Fortunately, the Polish driver only suffered minor concussions and a sprained ankle. Less than 24 hours after the crash, Kubica was released from the hospital and even drove by himself on his BMW X5.

Immediately after the crash though, news about his well being was hard to come by. Mario Theissen, BMW Sauber's team boss, relates: "I was unable to judge the severity of the accident by the initial television pictures. Then 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 Center 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 adds.

After being released from the hospital after his high speed crash which totaled his Formula One car and showered the car's parts like the BMW radiator hose and the likes into the tracks, Kubica said that he wants to participate at the upcoming United States Grand Prix.

To this, Theissen said: "It's great that he feels ready to race and is not experiencing any after-effects from the accident. The Chief Medical Officer will have the final say after Robert has been examined in Indianapolis on Thursday. We are prepared in case Robert will not be able to drive. But, of course, we are all hoping that he will line up in the car at the weekend. The ideal scenario for me would be for us all to put the accident behind us quickly with a good performance in the race."

Since the safety features of the Formula One car surely saved Kubica's life, there are issues surfacing that similar life-saving safety features should be used on road-bound passenger cars. Theissen pointed out that the demand in a Formula One car and a passenger car is different.

"The demands involved in series production are different from those in F1, as are the materials used," says Theissen. "However, the aim is the same - to produce a durable passenger cell surrounded by crash elements which efficiently absorb impact energy. Everyday practicality, comfort and manufacturing costs all play a role in the production of road cars. In Formula One we do whatever is technically possible. The passenger cell and restraint systems are tailored to one person."

If Kubica will be permitted to race at the United States Grand Prix, Theissen said that a new Formula One car will not be a problem. "In addition to the T-car, we also had another spare chassis in Montreal," he said. "This F1.07-03 chassis will now become the second race chassis. We began work on the car in Canada on Sunday and it will be completed in Indianapolis."

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