He was a spectacular Formula 1 driver and the first Polish addition to the F1 circus, who had it all going for him after six years in the top echelon of motor racing. He even won the 2008 Grand Prix of Canada in a BMW Sauber F1.05 and finished the year fourth in the F1 world title chase. But Robert also had a predilection for rallying and entered the unimportant 2011 Ronde di Andorra Rally, in a Skoda Fabia S 2000, partly for fun but, as always, to win.
But that was the day everything went wrong. Part way through the Andorra event, the Skoda flew off the road and smashed into a guardrail near the town of Testico, not far from its San Sebastian Church. It took rescuers over an hour to ease the seriously injured Kubica out of the mangled Fabia, after which he was taken to a helicopter and flown to the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure, Italy, There, it was clear that he had suffered the partial amputation of his forearm, compound fractures of his right elbow, leg and shoulder, most of which were repaired during a three-month period, although there wasn’t much movement in his right hand. Having been retained by Renault GP earlier in the year, Robert was forced to sit out the balance of the 2011 and 2012 Formula 1 World Championships due to that hand injury. And the situation wasn’t helped by him breaking a leg again after slipping on an icy footpath near his Italian home. Toward the end of 2012, Kubica, his hand still feeling the effects of the Andorra accident, decided his way back to the top in motor racing was to again go rallying. So he entered in the year’s Ronde Gomitolo Di Lana rally in a world championship Subaru S128 WRC with Giuliano Manfredi. They won by almost 10 seconds – and Robert was at the start of a long road back to circuit racing.
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