Sainz out of Saudi GP, Bearman to make debut for Ferrari

Carlos Sainz has been ruled out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after being diagnosed with appendicitis, with Ferrari reserve driver Ollie Bearman making his debut as he replaces him for the rest of the weekend.

The Spaniard was feeling unwell on Wednesday and returned to his hotel to rest, before battling through illness to complete 48 laps in total across the two practice sessions on Thursday. Sainz — who finished third in the season-opening race in Bahrain — has since been diagnosed with appendicitis and will require surgery, forcing his withdrawal from the rest of the weekend.

Taking his place will be rookie Bearman (pictured above), who had originally secured pole position for this weekend’s Formula 2 race in Jeddah. The 18-year-old will take no further part in the F2 schedule as he steps up to partner Charles Leclerc, starting with FP3 on Friday.


Bearman completed two FP1 sessions for Haas in 2023 and has been promoted to reserve driver for Ayao Komatsu’s team too, as well as having six FP1s planned this year. However, it will be his first outing for Ferrari during a race weekend, with Robert Shwartzman having completed the team’s mandatory rookie running last season.

The British driver has only been racing single-seaters since the 2020 season, finishing third in F3 two years ago and sixth in his rookie F2 season. Bearman was named a Ferrari reserve driver earlier this year, joining Antonio Giovinazzi and Shwartzman who share duties depending on racing schedules. He will run Ferrari’s reserve number of 38 for the rest of this weekend.

Bearman becomes the first driver to make their debut in Formula 1 with Ferrari since Arturo Merzario at the 1972 British Grand Prix.

Story originally appeared on Racer