Robert Kubica will miss the start of the 2012 Formula 1 season, the Renault outfit confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
The Polish driver was injured in a rally accident back in February of this year which saw him miss out on the entirety of the 2011 season.
Kubica’s progress remains impressive – he can now walk freely, and move his hand and elbow -, but he feels that he needs more time to return to full fitness.
“Even if I’ve been working very, very hard over the course of the last few weeks, I came to the conclusion that I am not yet certain to be ready for the 2012 season,” said Kubica in a statement.
“I have called the team and I have informed them of the situation. This was a difficult decision to make, but it is the most reasonable one. I also know that LRGP need to prepare for next year, and further extending deadlines would not have been the right thing to do.
“On a personal level, my recovery is still very encouraging and my doctors keep being impressed. I just need more time, as I want to be 100% ready before I commit to anything driving related. Finally, I regret not having been able to provide more news and not having appeared in the papers, and I thank my friends of the media for understanding that this has been the best way for me to cope with what has been the most difficult period of my life.”
Renault team principal Eric Boullier, confirmed that Renault remains committed to Kubica and will aid his recovery with access to their simulator and an old F1 car.
“Everybody in the team is, of course, very disappointed today. Robert not driving in Australia at the start of next season is not what we were all hoping for. However, he has taken a very mature decision, acting in the best interests of Lotus Renault GP,” said Boullier.
“As a team and as a family, we remain 100% behind him and we’ll help as much as we can. A programme composed of simulator testing, single-seater and F1 track time is awaiting him.
“Robert will take it step by step and will jump back in his racing car when he feels it is the right moment to do so. On behalf of all 520 members of the team, I wish him a speedy recovery.
“In the meantime, we will start talking to a few drivers in order to finalise our line-up for next year as soon as possible.”
Kubica will remain a member of the LRGP team in 2012 and, according to Renault, he is, through his management, holding talks about renewing his contract for the 2013 season.