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F1 : Prof. Sid Watkins, Piquet and Why Kubica Will Not Make an F1 Comeback

by on May 15, 2013

In an old video clip on YouTube, something Prof. Sid Watkins said, leads me to believe that Kubica will not return to Formula One as a driver.  Allow me to elaborate…

Recently, my attention was brought to a YouTube video by Twitter legend Fake Charlie Whiting (@Charlie_Whiting).  The video is of an interview with Dr. Gary Hartstein, the former F1 doctor called, I’m Just a Doctor ( .  In this interview, the good doctor candidly spoke of Prof. Sid Watkins who he eventually replaced. The stories were fascinating.  This video subsequently led me to watch several more hours of Formula One interviews and video clips on YouTube.

I stumbled upon a the old clip of an Interview with Prof. Watkins as he spoke of Nelson Piquet’s crash at Imola in 1987.  Piquet’s Williams left the circuit at high speeds at the Tamburello corner and he was severely shaken.  Luckily, he did not sustain any major injuries (as has Kubica), but later did admit that something did not feel quite right. Piquet obviously did return to racing whereas Kubic is still recovering from his unfortunate accident.

Prof. Watkins, being an astute neurosurgeon caught on that something was amiss with Piquet and ordered Piquet not to race due to a possible concussion.

I don’t know who conducted the interview, nor do I know who to credit, but here is the link: Video

This is what Sid said during that interview in speaking about Piquet, which leads me to my premature and uneducated conclusion about Kubica and his situation:

Prof. Sid Watkins,

“He might be fit enough, but on the other hand, he might not. And, in this particular sport, with the speeds that we’ve got, I don’t think anybody should take an unreasonable risk.  There is risk enough in driving when you’re absolutely fit and on top of the whole business…and apart from his own safety, we have other people to consider around the circuit…”

Recently, it has been reported that Mercedes AMG PETRONAS has offered Robert Kubica the opportunity at an F1 simulator test at the Mercedes factory.  This is being speculated in the media as being the another step towards Kubica’s F1 comeback.

My sources tell me however, that Kubica still does not have the full use of his hand.  Apparently, he is unable to fully grip the wheel and may not be able to make use of all the steering wheel functions (on an F1 car) including steering and selecting gears with both hands.

This is all third-party information; however, it does raise a warning flag.  If it is true that Kubica is not at least at 100% in terms of health and functionality, should he be allowed to return?  Would his return put himself at others at risk?  (Let us put aside any assumptions that he is even close to the same level of competitiveness as he was when he was last in Formula One).

According to Prof. Watkins’ statement, perhaps the answer to the question of whether Kubica will once again compete is Formula One, is no.  This is why I believe Kubica will not be making an F1 comeback.

Food for F1 thought…

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Ernie Black


From → Formula One

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