Sainz out of Saudi GP, Bearman, 18, to debut

Sainz out of Saudi GP,  Bearman, 18, to debut

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz will miss the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after he was diagnosed with appendicitis following Thursday’s practice sessions.

He will be replaced by 18-year-old Ferrari reserve driver Oliver Bearman, who was due to race in Formula 2 this weekend in Saudi Arabia.

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Sainz missed Wednesday’s media day in Jeddah after feeling unwell and, before his diagnosis, completed a limited amount of practice on Thursday with the intention of saving his strength ahead of Friday’s qualifying and Saturday’s race.

However, ahead of the final practice session Friday, Ferrari revealed Sainz had been diagnosed with appendicitis, requiring surgery that will rule him out of this weekend’s event.

Bearman, who will make his F1 debut in place of Sainz, was named as Ferrari’s reserve driver in January this year.

The British driver joined Ferrari’s driver academy in 2021, and took part in his first F1 practice sessions with the Haas F1 team in Mexico and Abu Dhabi last year. On Jan. 31 this year, he took part in a Ferrari test with a two-year old car in Spain.

On Thursday, Bearman qualified on pole position for this weekend’s F2 feature race, but will now not take part in the rest of F2 weekend in order to fully focus on F1.

He will become the first driver to make their F1 debut with Ferrari since Arturo Merzario made his with the Italian team at the 1972 British Grand Prix.

The 18-year-old is the 97th Ferrari Formula One driver and the first to make his debut with the sport’s oldest, most successful and glamorous team since Italian Arturo Merzario in 1972 at the British Grand Prix.

Bearman took to the track on Friday for final practice with the number 38 on his car, a number that has featured 12 times in the past on a Ferrari and whose previous users include Britain’s first champion Mike Hawthorn.

Hawthorn won his title with Ferrari in 1958.

“Carlos is out of surgery. Everything went well and he is now resting at the hospital. We send him our full support for a quick recovery,” Ferrari said in a statement on Friday.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report

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