top of page

Oliver Bearman to replace Carlos Sainz for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Written by Caitlyn Gordon, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

The anticipation for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix was hindered with reports of Carlos Sainz going into the weekend unwell. 

The Spaniard couldn’t commit to his media duties on Wednesday due to a high fever, although he still took to the track for both free practice sessions on Thursday evening.

However, after the session, Sainz reported to media how difficult it felt to be in a race car in his case, and how the G-force he’s been facing has made him worse:

“I've had a very rough last 24 hours if I'm honest.

I'm happy to manage to do this Thursday and complete the run plan, but it's for sure been one of my toughest days in a Formula 1 car in such a demanding high G-force [circuit]. I need some rest now."

On Friday morning, Ferrari announced that Sainz’s condition had continued to deteriorate, and the Spaniard was diagnosed with appendicitis.

The driver will undergo emergency surgery, and won’t take part in the second round of the 2024 season. In accordance with the regulations, a substitute can be nominated to step in and replace Sainz for the remainder of the weekend, given there is still a Free Practice session before qualifying. 

Ferrari confirmed their reserve driver and F2 driver Oliver Bearman to carry out Sainz’s roles for the weekend. The 18-year-old won four races in his rookie F2 season, and is a current favourite for the 2024 Formula 2 Championship. 

Bearman claimed pole in F2’s Thursday qualifying session by a slender margin of two-hundredths from Kush Maini.  

With the Briton now not being able to fulfil his F2 duties, PREMA has decided to withdraw Bearman’s car for the weekend due to the abrupt news:

“While we are sad to withdraw the #3 car that was starting from pole at Jeddah, we are delighted to see Ollie make his F1 debut," Prema said in a statement. 

Following the absence, second place Kush Maini will be promoted to pole position for Saturday’s Feature Race, while Jak Crawford will start second, and Victor Martins rounds out the top three. 


bottom of page