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F1: Kubica Can Drive, Surgeon Says Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Oct, 26 2011 | 0 Comments

One of Robert Kubica's doctors has revealed that the Pole is already driving a road car and preparing to step imminently behind the wheel of a much faster vehicle.

F1's well-known Dr Ricciardo Ceccarelli sparked pessimism about Kubica's 2012 return last week when he said the 26-year-old will have to spend "a few more months" in rehabilitation.

That would likely race him long past Renault's deadline as the team presses ahead with deciding its next driver lineup.

But Kubica's hand surgeon Igor Rossello has told Polish radio Trojce this week that the driver "has recovered; he can move and lift with all his fingers.

"We can now think about getting him back as soon as possible into a car. Sorry, into a racing car, because he is already in a (road) car.

"His recovery is a miracle but the unknown thing is whether he will be able to be as fast.

"We still have to do a small intervention for improving the mobility of his wrist, as with this type of accident the hand is never as flexible as it was before. Then it will take a lot of exercise.

"But he will be able to drive his formula one car again and press all the buttons -- we're talking about a racing driver, not a pianist," added Rossello.

"I look at him and I can't stop wondering how well it has all gone; all the breaks and the wounds have healed, the only question is whether he will drive as he did before.

"He will have some limitations; remember that we considered amputation.

"But that (whether he is fast enough) will be assessed by the (F1) specialists. We have done our job perfectly."

(GMM)

 

New York race no threat to Texas grand prix

The addition of a second American formula one race will not affect the state funding of the 2012 US grand prix.

That is the claim of Texas comptroller Susan Combs, amid speculation the New York street race set for 2013 could endanger the $25m annually set aside for Austin's separate event on a purpose-built circuit.

"The New Jersey race has no bearing on the Austin race," said a spokesperson for Combs, according to the local American Statesman newspaper.

The spokesperson clarified that the funding would only be endangered if two events were scheduled in Texas.

But lawyer Bill Aleshire, an opponent of the Austin race, does not agree.

He said in a letter that the Circuit of the Americas will be "disqualified" from the state funding now that New York is also headed to the F1 schedule.

"By our state law, the Texas tax kickback is available if Texas has the only F1 US grand prix," he wrote.

The Circuit of the Americas declined to comment.

(GMM)

 

Fernandes eyes Team Lotus future with Chandhok

He may not race in his native India this weekend, but Karun Chandhok could have a future with Team Lotus, boss Tony Fernandes said on Tuesday.

Earlier, the Malaysian businessman had to announce that, to his emotional disappointment, he must stick with the team's regular lineup of Heikki Kovalainen alongside Jarno Trulli.

Fernandes had openly contemplated putting Chandhok on the Delhi grid, but ultimately decided that Team Lotus must safeguard its lucrative tenth place in the constructors' championship.

"We had to make the best decision for the future of the team," he said.

"While this is obviously not the decision Karun wanted us to take he understands that we have to take the long-term view and do so in the best interests of the team."

Fernandes hinted that Chandhok, who replaced Italian Trulli for a one-off race at the Nurburgring earlier this season, may get his chance in the future.

"He understands that his relationship with our team is not about just one race, it is about growing together.

"While this is an historic event, there will be many opportunities to race in India in the future, and he is in the best possible place with us to take advantage of those chances in seasons to come," added Fernandes.

And he said on Twitter: "If we don't have the right finances there won't be a team, and that includes Karun."

Chandhok, who will nonetheless practice on Friday morning, admitted he is "obviously disappointed" he won't be racing in front of his home crowd.

"I understand that this isn't about me, it's about the team and everything the 254 people on track and back at the factory are doing to build for the future," said the 27-year-old.

(GMM)

 

Over 80,000 to attend first India GP

Organisers of the inaugural Indian grand prix have sold 80,000 tickets ahead of Sunday's race.

The capacity of the new Buddh circuit is 120,000, the AFP news agency said.

"We have sold close to 80,000 tickets which is pretty encouraging considering that its the first F1 race ever in the country," said a spokesman for race promoter Jaypee.

"Of course we would have been happier had we sold off 90 per cent tickets because ticket sales are the only source of revenue for us. But there are still a few days to go and we are keeping our fingers crossed," he added.

In a late bid to fill the circuit, tickets are now being sold at a discounted rate.

London's Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary wrote on Tuesday that the Buddh circuit is "rough and almost ready" for Sunday's race.

"But what do you expect?" smiled the country's motor federation president Vicky Chandhok. "I think people anticipated worse."

This weekend is proof that India, now a major economic player on the global scale, has also arrived in formula one.

"I would not put it past the (race promoter) Jaypee Group to start investing in a formula one team," said Chandhok. "That may be the next step."

(GMM)

 

Sutil warns Force India to speed up driver decision

Adrian Sutil on Monday warned he might walk away from Force India before the team has decided its 2012 driver lineup.

Reports in recent days have suggested team boss Vijay Mallya has already settled on pairing Paul di Resta alongside Nico Hulkenberg next season.

That would leave the experienced German Sutil out in the cold, but the 28-year-old has been spotted recently at Williams' Grove headquarters.

Mallya has said Force India's 2012 drivers will not be announced until very late this year.

"I can't wait until December," Indian media reports quote Sutil as saying.

"I will speak to him soon and see what his ideas are. I don't need to wait so long for a seat.

"I think I know what I can do, so I don't feel insecure," he added.

(GMM)

 

'Long term' Mercedes talks taking place - Rosberg

Nico Rosberg has hinted strongly that he intends to stay at Mercedes GP beyond the expiry of his current contract.

The German's current deal reportedly runs to the end of next season, but boss Norbert Haug has revealed he intends to keep the current team together beyond 2012.

Asked if the talks are already taking place, Rosberg told Germany's T-Online: "Yes, they are.

"We have talked about a long-term commitment as I feel very comfortable in the team. It is a great project. I don't want to go into more detail than that."

When asked if he is also "actively" looking for possible opportunities with other teams, Rosberg insisted: "Actively, no."

Rosberg was also asked about his countryman and new back to back world champion Sebastian Vettel's 2011 season, with the interviewer describing it as "flawless".

"Flawless? I've had a season like that, too," said the German. "I have made very, very few mistakes.

"The same as last year. I have driven very consistently but it's not so obvious because we are driving further behind."

He is also expecting Red Bull to be ahead of the pack in 2012.

"They have a head-start, obviously," said Rosberg. "We need to catch up and that will take some time."

Finally, he denied that the constant questions about his teammate Michael Schumacher are "annoying".

"That's not the right word. It's just that I have to talk about it all the time. They (the questions) always used to be about my father, now they're about Michael Schumacher.

"I'm used to it now," smiled Rosberg.

(GMM)

 
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