Heidfeld gets nod to replace Kubica

Nick Heidfeld is to replace the injured Robert Kubica at Renault for the foreseeable future. Kubica is potentially out for the entire forthcoming Formula One season after undergoing a series of operations at the Santa Corona hospital in Pietra Ligure, following the serious injuries he suffered in an accident in the Ronde di Andora rally 10 days ago.

Renault have moved quickly to secure his replacement in the highly experienced Heidfeld, who partnered Kubica at BMW Sauber for three and a half years from 2006-09.

Robert Kubica is to remain in intensive care for another few days following a further eight hours of surgery today.

The latest operation at the Santa Corona hospital in Petra Ligure was to repair a complex fracture to his elbow.

Kubica has now endured a total of 24 hours of surgery in the wake of suffering multiple fractures to his arm and leg and a partially severed right hand in a crash on the Ronde di Andora rally 10 days ago.

The latest statement from Kubica's Renault team confirmed today's operation was carried out "in order to stabilise and reconstruct the damaged fragments of the delicate joint structure."

It added: "At the end of the surgery the doctors were pleased with the outcome, with the procedure being completed successfully.

"Robert will remain in intensive care for a few days as he recovers from this latest operation."