Ferrari team boss gives Carlos Sainz update after appendicitis surgery

Jamie Woodhouse
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz looking down

Carlos Sainz looks down.

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur confirmed that Carlos Sainz’s appendicitis surgery went “okay” as he discussed when the Spaniard may be back in the SF-24.

Sainz skipped media duties on Wednesday at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Round 2 of the F1 2024 campaign, though was back in the car for the two one-hour practice sessions on Thursday, even if he was far from at 100 per cent by his own admission.

‘Everything going in right direction’ for Carlos Sainz

Sainz had hoped to continue his Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend preparations on Friday, but news emerged that he had been taken to hospital on the morning to undergo surgery for appendicitis, this opening the door for Ferrari’s 18-year-old reserve driver and Formula 2 racer Oliver Bearman to step up in Sainz’s absence.

Fortunately, Vasseur confirmed that Sainz’s surgery went fine, though beyond knowing he will take no further part in the Saudi Arabian GP, Vasseur is not sure when Sainz will be back in the Ferrari.

“The surgery is okay. Not for this weekend for sure [for his return], but I hope that he will be back soon,” Vasseur told Sky Sports F1.

“It’s a tough moment but everything is going in the right direction now and we have to think about the future.”

Vasseur said Ferrari first believed Sainz may have been suffering from food poisoning, before his condition worsened on Friday morning and the true issue came to light.

“[We found out] on Thursday morning that he doesn’t feel very well,” Vasseur said.

“At the beginning we’re thinking about a food issue, and this morning, it was even worse. He went to the hospital, and it was quite obvious.”

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While Bearman has found himself thrown in at the deep end in Saudi Arabia, he is already fairly well-accustomed to modern F1 machinery, having appeared in two FP1 sessions for Ferrari customer team Haas in 2023.

And with Vasseur confirming that Bearman had also recently driven one of the past Ferrari challengers in a test, he believes all of this experience – as well as his drive to what would have been pole for the F2 Saudi GP feature race – all served as great preparation.

“He drove before the old car the TPC [Testing of Previous Cars, ed.] a couple of months ago and he did very well,” Vasseur confirmed.

“Last year, he did two FP1 with Haas in Mexico and I don’t remember the other one [Abu Dhabi, ed.], and he did a good job on these two.

“For sure, it’s a different story when you have to jump into the car in Jeddah, FP3, it’s not an easy one.

“On the other hand, he did F2 yesterday, did very well because he did the pole position, I think it was also somehow a good preparation.”

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