Carlos Sainz Diagnosed With Appendicitis, Oliver Bearman to Debut for Ferrari

f1 saudi arabian grand prix 2024 practice 3
Carlos Sainz Out With Appendicitis, Bearman DebutsNurPhoto - Getty Images

Carlos Sainz has been diagnosed with appendicitis ahead of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix and will not compete in any further activities this weekend. This news broke before on-track action for F1 on Friday. Sainz had previously missed media responsibilities on Wednesday due to being under the weather and battled through illness to participate in both Free Practice 1 and 2 on Thursday.

Ferrari reserve driver Oliver Bearman will replace Sainz for the rest of the weekend. Bearman set a blistering lap of 1:42.217 to capture the pole for Prema racing in F2 qualifying before being called up to the F1 field.

The British-born driver will have his work cut out for him as he quickly adjusts to the power increase of an F1 car. Last year, Sergio Perez ran a 1:28.265 lap time for pole position followed by his new Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc with a 1:28.420. F1 cars on average have an extra 300-400 horsepower over the F2 cars that Bearman has been racing.

At just 18 years old, Bearman becomes the youngest driver to race with the Ferrari Cavallino Rampante on his nose. Bearman finished sixth in his rookie F2 season last year, winning four Grand Prixs.

This is the second time that a driver has missed a race due to appendicitis in as many years. In September 2022, Alex Albon missed the Italian Grand Prix after the driver suffered from post-operative complications from his appendix surgery. This led to the debut of Liam Lawson and a much larger domino effect throughout the entire grid.

Sainz's illness came at a precarious time for the driver as he needs every Grand Prix this year to show him deserving of a new seat in the F1 paddock, as Lewis Hamilton has been announced as his replacement at Ferrari in 2025.

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