Doctor Says Carlos Sainz Could Be Back For Melbourne

Will Carlos Sainz Make A Smooth Sauber Shift
Will Carlos Sainz Make A Smooth Sauber Shift

Carlos Sainz could be in good enough shape to return to his Ferrari cockpit in Melbourne in a fortnight.

The Spaniard struggled through Thursday practice with what he thought was food poisoning – but a day later, was diagnosed with appendicitis and replaced by 18-year-old Ferrari reserve Oliver Bearman.

Bearman, a rookie, was disappointed to be half a second off Charles Leclerc’s pace in qualifying and miss out on Q3, but he earned the high praise of drivers up and down the pitlane – including Max Verstappen.

“By lap two, lap three I was like ‘Okay, that’s a strong start’,” said the triple world champion, recalling watching Bearman on the monitors in FP3.

It’s also good news for Toto Wolff, as Bearman’s Formula 2 teammate and fellow teenager Kimi Antonelli is a contender to replace Lewis Hamilton next year.

“Now you see that you can take a boy like that out of a F2 car and put him in a Ferrari and he is immediately competitive. It’s promising for the next generation,” said the Mercedes boss.

It’s possible, however, that Saudi Arabia will be a one-off for now for Bearman. Sainz had his appendix removed in a local hospital on Friday and said it went “smooth”.

“It is not an easy situation but his condition is normal,” said Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur. “I hope Carlos will return to action soon.”

Dr Riccardo Ceccarelli, founder of the F1 medical authority Formula Medicine, thinks 29-year-old Sainz’s chances of a recovery by Melbourne are good.

“If there are no complications, a driver will be able to race after 10 days,” he told the Spanish broadcaster DAZN. “It would be different for a footballer, because they have more pressure in the abdomen, but the drivers are sitting and do not have so much pressure in that area.”

Ceccarelli said an appendectomy is also a “very quick operation” these days, only requiring the creation of “a couple of small holes and a couple of days in hospital”.

“I think the doctor at Ferrari found the problem quickly and everything was managed properly,” he added.

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