‘I’m not stupid’ – Carlos Sainz will sit out Australian GP if necessary

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz climbs into his Ferrari for the first time since surgery

Carlos Sainz climbs into his Ferrari for the first time since surgery

Although Carlos Sainz is feeling “positive” about his recovery from an appendectomy, the Ferrari driver is adamant he’s also not “stupid” and he won’t race if it means doing harm.

Sainz missed the last race in Saudi Arabia, forced to withdraw ahead of final practice after coming down with appendicitis.

‘If I don’t feel good, I will be the first one to raise my hand’

The Spaniard underwent surgery with Ferrari junior and Formula 2 driver Oliver Bearman called up as his substitute as he raced to seventh place.

Sainz was back in the paddock on the Saturday to support the rookie and his Ferrari team, the diver spotted walking gingerly as he arrived.

Now, 12 days after his operation, he’s preparing to hop back into his Ferrari SF-24 to contest round three of the championship, the Australian Grand Prix.

He says he wouldn’t climb into the car if he didn’t feel as if he was fit enough to race.

“Just by seeing me move and the exercises that I’m doing in the gym or anything, this tells me I’m fit to jump into the car and try,” he told the media in Melbourne.

“But obviously, I’m not stupid, and if I don’t feel good [in the car], I will be the first one to raise my hand and say that I need another two weeks to the next race.

“This, together with the FIA, is also the plan that we have in place. I have another check with the FIA.

“I’m the first one that doesn’t want to be in pain or to suffer, to make it any worse. I’m not stupid, and I will be very clear with how I’m feeling and everything.

“On top of that, going back to Thursday [in Jeddah], I wouldn’t have jumped in the car if it wouldn’t be possible.

“I did the 26 laps because I could, not because I was in agonising pain. Yes, it was not an easy 26 laps per session, but I could get them done.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 2024: Head-to-head qualifying record between team-mates

F1 2024: Head-to-head race statistics between team-mates

Sainz is not the first driver in recent times to race shortly after an appendectomy with Alex Albon doing the same back in 2022, although he had three weeks of recovery time.

Although Sainz accepts he won’t be 100 per cent fit, the Ferrari driver believes his body is up for the challenge after an intense pre-season.

“The amount of training that I did in the winter and how fit I was in Bahrain – actually, thanks to that – I feel like I’m going to be more fit because it’s not like in two weeks, you lose muscle or you lose capacity,” he said.

“Obviously, it’s not the same as spending 10 days training like I would have done and going to a simulator.

“But that’s why I say I’m not going to be 100 per cent fitness level, but fit enough to race. I think that that will not be a limitation.”

Bearman is in the paddock with his Formula 2 team Prema should Sainz and Ferrari need him to step in.

Read next: Max Verstappen to Mercedes ‘pretty close to a done deal’, claims ex-F1 driver