Doctors in Italy have said that Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica underwent 7 hours of major surgery after his rally crash on Sunday, but that the only thing showing signs of life afterwards was his partly-severed right hand.
Kubica, 26, also suffered arm and leg fractures in the accident, and the Renault driver faces months out of competition as his hand tries to recover its fitness.
The Pole lost a lot of blood and had to receive several blood transfusions before his operation could be carried out, but medics were hopeful post-op. Professor Mario Igor Rossello was part of the surgery team and said it would take a week to determine if the operation had been a complete success.
"The hand is warm and this means the operation went well," he said, adding "although I think a return to the track this year is unlikely, particularly so because F1 drivers tend to need more than just a hand to be successful."
Later he told a news conference:
"Robert Kubica's hand. A hand barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic hand. Robert Kubica's hand will be that hand. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster. I am mad."
If Kubica's hand does make a recovery and is able to take its place on the starting grid, it will be the first time in F1 history that a bodyless hand has done so, and would mark a major turning point in the sport of motor racing.
I am mad, too.