Kubica Out, Vettel In For U.S. Grand Prix
Topics: Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, United States Grand Prix
June 16, 2007
After the Canadian Grand Prix, the Formula One community was buzzing with two subjects which were both centered on Formula One rookie drivers. One of which is the win posted by rookie Lewis Hamilton who was driving for McLaren. The young British racing driver set another record for extending his streak of podium finishes in his first season to six while taking his maiden win.
The other issue being talked about on Formula One circles is the unfortunate fate of BMW Sauber’s rookie driver Robert Kubica. While the Polish driver started his tour of duty for BMW Sauber last year replacing Jacques Villeneuve, this year marks his first full season as a Formula One driver.
The season though will not be complete for the first Polish national to drive for a Formula One team since doctors did not give him permission to drive at the United States Grand Prix. The disapproval came even after Kubica insisted that he is alert, clear-minded and ready to drive his Formula One car.
The extent of injuries that Kubica sustained is surprisingly little compared to the fate of his Formula One car. The car was totaled which no BMW repair manual can put back together. After the crash, what was left of the car is only the cockpit that Kubica occupied.
The crash came after Kubica clipped Jarno Trulli’s Toyota Formula One car. The impact forced Kubica’s car into the grass on the side of the tracks where the car’s front was elevated thus making Kubica unable to steer or brake. His car then slammed into the barrier after the hairpin curve of the track and then he barrel-rolled across the track and was once again slamming into the barricade.
For the seriousness of his accident, Kubica seemed to be making light of it at times when he joked that “I have seen it live when I was there.” His safety was assured after he was released out of the hospital less than 24 hours after the accident. He only suffered a minor concussion and a sprained ankle.
The Polish driver pointed out that he is fine and would be able to drive for the United States Grand Prix saying: “I have bit of pain in ankle first day, but now it's 100 percent OK. So no headache, nothing like that. We have to wait for the doctors of FIA and Indy here to give me OK. But I feel like nothing happened.”
After the decision that he could not participate at the United States Grand Prix, Kubica has this to say: “I felt absolutely ready to race. I respect the decision. It was made because there is too much risk to let me race in this Grand Prix in case I have an impact so soon after Montreal. I will go home now.”
Taking Kubica’s place at the United States Grand Prix is the 19-year old Sebastian Vettel who will be making his first appearance driving in a Formula One race. The German Formula One test driver has the unfortunate distinction of being the youngest driver to be fined in a Formula One car. For the upcoming race, he has this to say: “Of course, I am looking forward to my first F1 race, but I wish it had come under different circumstances. It's never nice if a teammate can't drive because he had an accident.”
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