Robert Kubica - the best Polish driver

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tuesday, 21.06: FIA medical tests - the last obstacle of Robert Kubica's return

Return of Robert Kubica to racing in Formula 1 will not rely "solely" on regaining his fitness and finding a place in the team. Pole will have to pass medical tests required by the Federeration Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). They are not easy, but the FIA ​​Sporting Regulations and its annexes bring us optimistic conclusions. Feel free to explore with me these rules.
Some may think that rushing now into this final phase of Robert's return is not appropriate. But I think it will be so hot time, that there may not be time to give details of this procedure. And it is interesting one.
I think most of the fans know that to compete in F1 is needed a Super Licence, a special document issued by the FIA, allowing racing in top class races. The procedure is very complex, the drivers must meet several conditions and demonstrate their high skills in lower racing series. Super Licence is granted indefinitely, but in specific cases it may be withdrawn (we had one case in recent years - in 2006 it was withdrawn to Yuji Ide). Among the enumerated reasons, there is no indication such us a driver health, but such a decision may be taken by the FIA. Drivers must pass a comprehensive examinations on a regular basis.
What am I heading for? I' heading for the fact that, probably Robert Kubica still has a Super Licence, but before first stars he will have to undergo a medical examination, such as those which are passing other drivers before the start of each season. This follows from the provisions of Appendix L to the FIA ​​Sporting Regulations:
"In the event of an accident resulting in incapacity for a period of 10 days or longer, and following receipt of a document attesting that the patient is healed or recovered, or of a hospital discharge form, the National Medical Commission or the doctor approved by the ASN shall demand that the patient visits them for the reintegration or that he should undergo a complete annual medical examination procedure."
"Full clinical examination including in particular:
- a cardiovascular aptitude examination;- an eye test;
- an evaluation of the musculoskeletal system."
I will spare some space in this mini-study only for the latter type of examination. Here is what covers evaluation of the musculoskeletal system. It is also ruled by the Appendix : L:
"Mobility of the articulations, amplitude of movements, inventory of amputations and possible prostheses, inventory of sensory and motor disorders."
Most doctors say that after such severe injuries Robert Kubica suffered, it will not be able to recover 100%  fitness in the hand. However, let us hope the Pole will succeed, but the cited provisions provide for this possibility and are as follows:
"The following are compatible with the granting of an international license:
- amputations of fingers, where the gripping function in both hands is unimpaired;- prosthetic limbs, if the functional result is equal or near to normal;
- free movement of the limbs impeded by less than 50%."
As you can see these rules are quite flexible, but I think that there will be no problem in meeting these requirements by Robert Kubica. But I know that there are unique pessimists in our society. For them, I also have consolation here. Optimists, please do not criticize what I quote below. Namely,  a license for the disabled.
Robert is under the supervision of outstanding specialists, and rather it is not for him. However, the FIA ​​regulations allow the possibility of granting licenses to people who do not meet the above requirements. Of course, these regulations refer to "lower types" for drivers licenses and prohibit  granting of them in races where the start is at the same time, but then allow the exception to the mass start races, but again ban starts of disabled in the so-called single-seaters. But here we also have an exception, saying that in particularly justified cases, when the issue concerns an outstanding driver, for which there is no doubt that he will represent an appropriate level of sports, it is possible to grant even the Super License. An example of the driver, who raced with a license for the disabled is Alex Zanardi, Champ Car champion, who after an accident in one of the races  lost both legs. Then for 5 years he has been competing in WTCC - winning four races. (World Touring Car Championship - I truly recommend watching this series, unusual excitement and a great commentary on Eurosport).
And now the last aspect of all these tests - fitness tests before a particular race. This issue has already occurred after the crash of Robert Kubica in Canada in 2007. In this terrible looking incident Pole  only slightly sprained ankle and had a concussion. He had to undergo 48 hours before the start the examination, which, as he says he passed, but the doctors still did not allow him to start in the United States Grand Prix. What are these tests? On this question, we find the answer in Appendix L:
"The applicant must, from a sitting position, be able, alone, to extricate himself and move away from the car. Out of the vehicle, lying on his back, he must be able to turn onto his stomach and vice versa."
Regarding leaving the car, now it is assumed that the driver must leave the cockpit in 6 seconds.
I think you should know these procedures, which will have to pass Robert, but you do not have to worry about their results. Pole will be certainly prepared to pass them without the slightest difficulty. We know that he is working hard to make it so.

1 comment:

  1. That was really awesome, I am a fan of Robert Kubica, he is a great man and good racer too. Thanks for sharing those photos in his race. Great job well done !