Sainz to miss Saudi GP due to appendicitis, replaced by Bearman

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Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz will not take part in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend after being diagnosed with appendicitis which will require surgery, the Italian Formula One team said on Friday.

Sainz, who will be leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton taking his seat next year, finished third in the season opener in Bahrain behind the two Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Sainz was also the last driver to beat the Red Bull cars and take the chequered flag at the Singapore Grand Prix last year.

“As from FP3 and for the rest of this weekend, he will be replaced by reserve driver Oliver Bearman,” Ferrari said in a statement.

Reserve driver Bearman, who drives for Prema Racing in Formula Two, came through the Ferrari Driver Academy. The 18-year-old Briton finished sixth in the Formula Two drivers’ championship last season.

“Oliver will therefore take no further part in this round of the F2 Championship,” Ferrari added.

Bearman had clinched pole position for the Formula Two feature race in Thursday’s qualifying.

“It’s one of my favourite tracks,” Bearman had said after taking the fourth Formula Two pole of his career.

Sainz had taken part in Thursday’s FP1 and FP2 sessions despite feeling unwell.

The Spaniard later said on Instagram that he was “still feeling far from OK” after a tough day at Jeddah’s Corniche circuit where he was only seventh fastest in FP2.

Ferrari did not say when he would return. The next race on the calendar is the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks.

Alex Albon also had appendicitis ahead of the Italian Grand Prix in 2022, which saw Nyck de Vries take his place in the Williams car, but the Thai driver returned for the next race in Singapore