Interview with Igor Rossello

Last week many of F1-related websites published GMM story with two Rossello’s “quotes” about Robert Kubica and his chances to be back on the grid.

“Unfortunately, not even a good and long rehabilitation will lead to a full restoration of [the mobility of Kubica’s] hand.”

“At the moment it is difficult to predict if Robert will be able to participate in F1 races.”

Story was based on interview with Kubica’s hand surgeon that was printed in Polish newspaper “Super Express” in the middle of Seprember, but there is one big problem. Someone put in Rossello’s mouths something that he never said. GMM story is quite pessimistic but has nothing to do with Rossello’s words. Translation of full Super Express interview is below.

Super Express: Do you remember your thought when you saw Robert’s hand shortly after the crash?

Igor Rossello: I thought that we need to keep him alive. It wasn’t sure that I will have a chance to save his hand. It was serious accident, with large flow of blood and almost detached limb. We had to restore blood flow in this hand, functioning of muscles and nerves.

SE: Did you have a lot of similar cases?

IR: Hundreds. I work in this profession many years, so I have to deal with various injuries, more and less serious. Mostly these were accidents at work, it happened really a lot, several years ago in Italy. It was a blessing in disguise for Kubica, that his crash was near Savona, where I lead a specialist hand surgery clinic. Damage to his hand required immediate action of high-class professionals and there isn’t a lot of places like this not only in Italy but in whole Europe. Time played an important role. It was not only about the operation itself, but also about the many specialized things after surgery. My experience was very helpful.

SE: What Robert can’t do today with his right hand, in real life?

IR: Definitely will not play the piano (laughs). If he were a pianist he would have to end his career, but in driving the sport car limitations will not be as significant. Certainly he is able to eat using knife and fork, comb, wash oneself and drive road car. I’m also convinced that he still has a chance to return to F1. The current state of Robert’s hand is very satisfying, considering the fact that his hand was nearly detached in two places. Looking at this from the perspective of several months, I believe that we couldn’t do anything more.

SE: Robert is back behind the wheel less that 20 months after his crash. Are you surprised?

IR: I spoke with Kubica’s manager and he is just as thrilled as I about his progress and form. It’s not surprise for me that he is racing in official events. You can see that nerve regeneration is going well. Thanks to that he can use it at all, grab the steering wheel and make some basic movements.

SE: There is a lot of questions about the opportunity to return to F1, but still no answer. When we can expect some more details, are you optimistic?

IR: I am convinced that it is possible, although the progress of rehabilitation can not be instant, it is many months, often years. From what I’ve heard, Robert still has a problem with the full mobility of the elbow, especially with the rotation. I know that he has two mini implants in his elbow. I’m sure that will help, but probably, to full success he will need some more rehabilitation or another surgery. But it’s not my specialty and I don’t know all details so I don’t want to speculate.

SE: It’s much easier for him to come back in rally car than in F1’s?

IR: Of course, in Subaru there is much more space tahn in tight F1 cockpit, in which lack of full mobility has more consequences. Robert would have a problem with arm movement in small area. But I have to say that his hand is working very well.

SE: But even Robert said that his hand will be never 100% efficient.

IR: It’s true. His arm mobility is 50% at the moment but working hard he has a chance to improve it, even to 75-80%. I would be result, that will allow him to think about driving F1 car. Now main target is to improve strength and muscles functionality, which has direct link with nerves. That why he still need to work, it’s long process.

I believe that now you understand why I wrote on Twitter that you should be careful about that GMM story…