Robert Kubica vows to return to Formula One in 2011

Injured Lotus Renault Formula One driver Robert Kubica plans to return to racing before the end of the year.

The Pole is responding well to treatment in a hospital in Italy after suffering multiple fractures to his arm and leg and a partially severed right hand following a crash in Sunday's Ronde di Andora rally.

Kubica, who will undergo further surgery today, is expected to miss the whole of the 2011 season but he told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I want to return this year.

"I am really determined to reduce the recovery time with a very defined programme."

Kubica had seven hours of surgery after he was airlifted to a hospital in Savona following the crash where doctors worked to reattach his right hand.

"The fingers work and so does the arm, I can feel them," he said.

"But I still have to undergo another operation and then I will know.

"I cannot move much right now. But I don't have much pain because I'm sedated.

"On Saturday I will be able to know what my condition is after I undergo the double surgery (arm and foot).

"Then there will be the countdown to begin preparation. I only have that in mind.

"I want to return stronger than before."

The 26-year-old has had serious accidents in the past, requiring surgery to his left arm after being a passenger in a road accident in 2003, and then missing the 2007 United States Grand Prix after a serious crash in Canada.

"After this accident, you are no longer the same, you are better," he said.

"I had already gone through that in 2007 after the crash in Canada.

"I was out for one race and when I came back I was better. A driver is not just about accelerating and steering.

"There is a difference between those that drive at 85% and those that drive at 95%. The 15% remaining is the capacity and motivation that comes out of you.

"Since 2007, I'm a stronger driver and I'm stronger mentally. It will be the same this time when I recover physically."

Kubica said he was still trying to piece together the sequence of events that led to his accident.

Kubica's car left the road and collided with the wall of a church, with a guard-rail penetrating the front of his Skoda Fabia and causing his injuries.

"I really don't know what happened because I don't remember anything of the accident," he said. "I just found myself in hospital and my agent Daniele Morelli has explained everything to me.

"I am saddened with what has happened. It should not have happened.

"I am sorry for my mother because I have made her worry and suffer.

"One does this job but never thinks of the consequences. I just know that I did the rally and now I am in this bed."

But Kubica has no regrets about taking part in the rally, although Lotus Renault have come in for criticism for allowing him to take part.

"Rallies are my passion," he said.

"They are a hard training, severe for Formula One.

"I drive better in Formula One because I have taken part in many rallies.

"The rallies help you in concentration, considering that in Formula One there are very few tests.

"Rallies have allowed me to work on certain areas that I can improve on. It is important in a season where you have 20 grands prix."

Asked if he would take part in future rallies once he recovers, Kubica said: "I don't know, we will see at the time."

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