Report: Kubica to receive Pope's blood
Recovering Formula One star Robert Kubica was set to receive a drop of Pope John Paul II's blood to aid his recovery from a horriffic rally wreck, Polish commercial news channel TVN24 reported Friday.
Polish church leaders were also sending a strip of the late pontiff's robes to the injured driver and urged the 26-year-old Pole to keep his faith.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz wished Kubica a swift return to full health and said the connection to John Paul II, who he said was himself a keen sportsman, would strengthen his countryman's journey back to the track.
Kubica earlier vowed to return to F1 a "better driver and a stronger person" after the accident, which left his racing career in jeopardy.
The Lotus-Renault driver was in a bullish mood after regaining the feeling in his hand after seven hours of surgery. He was undergoing procedures on his shoulder and foot Friday ahead of further treatment on his elbow Monday at Santa Corona di Pietra Ligure hospital in Savona, northwestern Italy.
"The fingers work. I can feel them. My arm, too. But they still need to operate on me and only after that will we know," the 26-year-old told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday, adding that the greater strain was being felt by his loved ones.
He added, "My family arrived from Poland. I'm really sorry for my mother — she suffered so much. I don't have much pain, but I'm sedated. After the last operation, the countdown to my return to the track will begin."
Kubica said positive memories of his recovery from a violent collision with Toyota's Jarno Trulli at the Canadian Grand Prix in 2007 were at the forefront of his mind as he began his rehabilitation.
"I'll get better after these accidents. That's what happened to me in 2007 after the crash in Canada," he said. "In these situations, your abilities and motivation shine through. I'll come back a better driver and a stronger person."
Kubica, who suffered the latest smash Sunday during an offseason rally in Liguria, northwestern Italy, said he was still weighing up, and would not rule out, a return to competitive racing in a rally car upon recovery.
"I also asked myself, why race in a rally? It's tough training. It's severe. For F1, it helps the concentration, but would I race another one? We'll see," he said.