It's now more than a month since Robert Kubica suffered serious injuries to his right arm in a rallying accident and the Pole continues to make good progress.
But, as Renault team doctor Riccardo Ceccareli says, it is impossible to predict when the Pole will be back in action.
Ceccareli met the media at Barcelona on Thursday and AUTOSPORT was there.
Q. How is Robert Kubica's condition?
Ricardo Ceccarelli: Robert is getting better every day. I see that he is recovering, psychologically and physically, very quickly. This is not a surprise for us because we know Robert very well. But it is a big surprise for the doctors of the Pietra Ligure hospital - so this is good news because they are satisfied how he is reacting to the surgery and all the injuries he had. We are quite happy for this strong reaction. This is the first positive thing in a traumatic situation.
Q. So is he still at the hospital?
RC: Yes. He is still in Pietra Ligure because it is really a well organised hospital. They have many departments and they have, as you know, a surgeon - a specialist for the hand - and there are physiotherapists for the hand. So, we have many physiotherapists providing the best assistance every day for us. So it makes no sense to move from there. They know exactly what is happening and they also have the right structure to take care of him in this situation. So in this moment he is still there and we don't know when we will decide to move for the moment.
Q. Will he require some more operations?
RC: At the moment that is impossible to say. At the moment everything is going very well, and there are no complications coming out. So, we don't plan any other surgery for the moment. At the moment there is no reason to do it.
Q. What is his daily routine?
RC: The daily routine is just to do physiotherapy. He is in the department and the physiotherapists are coming to him. They help him to sit on the chair, and they do some exercises there or on the bed. The routine is just very simple - as much as possible to work on the body to recover. This is specifically for his problems.
Q. What would you say about his possibilities to come back?
RC: This is obviously a question we cannot answer. No one can answer when or how, because we can only say that the surgeons did a great job. Robert is very strong and he is recovering in a good way. But there is a third factor which is nature - how will nature be with him? Nice or not? Fast or not? This is something we cannot say. So it is a question that is impossible to answer. We only think we have two positive aspects: the job done by the doctors and Robert, who is strong. So, these are the only things we have at the moment. All the rest is impossible to say.
Q. You were with Robert several years ago when he had his road car crash, and there his recovery was quicker than expected. How many similarities are there with his situation now?
RC: It is completely different. As you know you have seen with the statement of the injuries that it is completely different. It is a more difficult situation. Last time it was a month and a half - here it will be longer. But I know that everyone wants to know when and how he will be back - but this is just a stupid thing. It is a question with no answer. It will take [a] long [time], that is what we know. We will see day-by-day how it is going and only after one month will we understand. At the moment it is impossible.
Q. How is the movement in his right hand coming along?
RC: Robert is moving fingers, he is moving his wrist. So it is good. That is positive but we cannot predict anything else.
Q. When Robert eventually leaves hospital, what will be the plan then?
RC: When he leaves the hospital it will again be rehabilitation.
Q. At home or a specialist unit?
RC: We haven't decided yet. We don't know how the recovery will be, and we don't know when or where he will move. It is really a difficult thing for someone who is not a doctor to understand this point. But, the body has a capacity to react which is different for each person. It is like a set-up of the car - so we have to follow it day-by-day to understand what he needs, and coming from this we will decide what kind of rehabilitation and where. At the moment the situation is like the last statement - there is nothing different.
Q. So what is he saying at the moment? Does he feel like he will be back this year?
RC: What we can say - this year, next year or three years? It makes no sense [to say] in this moment. I can only tell what I know. And what I told you is exactly what we know - he has made a good job, he is reacting well and it will take time, a long time. After that, honestly, I am not a magician so honestly I cannot say anything more than this.
Q. Is the main issue for his racing future still with his right hand and elbow?
RC: Obviously you know that from the surgery bulletin, you know that the main fracture was on the arm - and obviously everything will follow from the improvement on the arm, the elbow and the hand. This was the point with the main injury, and this is the point that we have to follow. But it is the arm, generally speaking.
Q. But you are happy with the way the surgery has gone?
RC: Very, very happy with the job that they did, and we are very happy with how Robert is reacting. We are not happy about the accident. It is stupid what I say, but that is the only thing I can say. We know Robert is really strong and our hopes are mainly coming from this. With Robert you can never know.
Q. Deep inside, what is your opinion about his recovery?
RC: This is not my style. I can answer only what I know. As I told you. I am happy that really, I was following from the first day the doctors, we were lucky we had a very high-level specialist from the beginning working with him. So this is positive. Secondly - how is the trend going with Robert? It is good. If you ask me if I have hopes, I say yes, of course. If you ask me if I have an opinion? No, I don't have.