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Formula 1: Carlos Sainz to miss Saudi Arabian Grand Prix because of appendicitis

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 07: Carlos Sainz of Ferrari attends the second practice session of the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Corniche Circuit on March 7, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mohammed Saad/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Carlos Sainz will miss the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. (Photo by Mohammed Saad/Anadolu via Getty Images) (Anadolu via Getty Images)

Carlos Sainz will miss Saturday’s Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix because of an appendicitis.

Ferrari announced Friday that Oliver Bearman would replace Sainz for the race as well as Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions.

The team did not announce a timetable for Sainz’s return from appendix surgery. Formula 1 is off the weekend of March 17 before the Australian Grand Prix on March 24.

Bearman is Ferrari’s reserve driver and currently competes in Formula 2. The 18-year-old has made 28 F2 starts and has four wins. He won the pole on Thursday for the F2 race but will not compete in the race since he’s replacing Sainz.

Bearman also will become the first British driver to race for Ferrari since Nigel Mansell in 1990. Just 11 British drivers have previously competed in an F1 race for the famous team, and Bearman will be the 776th person in history to start a Formula 1 race.

Sainz finished third in the Bahrain Grand Prix behind the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez as he enters the 2024 season without a team going forward. Sainz’s contract with Ferrari is up at the end of the season, and he is set to be replaced at the team by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton’s move to Ferrari makes Sainz the most coveted free agent ahead of the 2025 season. Mercedes needs to replace Hamilton, and there are other teams that could be looking for drivers as well. There were no driver changes between the 2023 and '24 seasons.

Sainz was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race in 2023, thanks to his victory in the Singapore Grand Prix. He has won a race in each of the past two seasons and was fifth in the points standings in 2022.