Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz drops out of Saudi Arabian GP

The Spaniard was diagnosed with appendicitis and will be replaced by Oliver Bearman


In an unexpected turn of events for the Ferrari, driver Carlos Sainz has been diagnosed with appendicitis and will undergo surgery to address the condition. The team announced the news early this morning, confirming that Sainz will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.

Sainz had skipped media day on Wednesday as he was unwell, but did return to the paddock on Thursday to take part in FP1 and FP2 sessions, setting the sixth then seventh fastest times, respectively.

Taking Sainz‘s place in the scarlet car will be Ferrari‘s reserve driver, Oliver Bearman. This marks a significant moment for the young driver, who was set to compete in this weekend’s round of the Formula 2 Championship. However, following this development, Bearman will no longer participate in the F2 races to fulfill his duties as Sainz’s replacement for Ferrari in Formula 1.

Carlos Sainz has been diagnosed with appendicitis and will require surgery,” a statement from Ferrari read.

“As from FP3 and for the rest of this weekend, he will be replaced by reserve driver Oliver Bearman. Oliver will therefore take no further part in this round of the F2 Championship. 

“The Ferrari family wishes Carlos a speedy recovery.”

Many will be eager to see how Bearman will adapt to the pressure of driving for one of the most storied teams in Formula 1 history. His sudden elevation to a race seat for the weekend provides a unique challenge and an incredible opportunity to showcase his talents on one of motorsport’s biggest stages.

What is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a finger-shaped pouch that projects from your colon on the lower right side of your abdomen. It’s a medical emergency that usually requires prompt surgery to remove the appendix.

If left untreated, an inflamed appendix can burst, or perforate, spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to peritonitis, a serious inflammation of the abdominal cavity’s lining (the peritoneum) that can be fatal unless it is treated quickly with strong antibiotics.

The exact cause of appendicitis is often unclear, but it is thought to occur when the appendix becomes blocked by stool, a foreign body, or cancer. Blockage may also occur from infection, since the appendix can swell in response to any infection in the body.

Symptoms of appendicitis can include:

  • Sudden pain that begins on the right side of the lower abdomen
  • Sudden pain that begins around your navel and often shifts to your lower right abdomen
  • Pain that worsens if you cough, walk, or make other jarring movements
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever that may worsen as the illness progresses
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Abdominal bloating

The standard treatment for appendicitis is surgical removal of the appendix. This procedure can be done laparoscopically (using small incisions) or through an open surgery. In some cases, if the appendicitis is not severe, antibiotics may be used to treat the inflammation, but this approach is typically considered when surgery is not immediately available or poses a high risk to the patient.

John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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