carlos sainz jeddah

Sainz or Bearman in Melbourne? What F1 future for Carlos?

carlos sainz jeddah

While Oliver Bearman will be on high alert to sub again for Carlos Sainz, the ‘smart’ money is on the Spaniard returning to his #55 Ferrari for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, and he needs all the track time he can get as he seeks employment for 2025.

Sainz will be two weeks into his appendix operation recovery cycle when F1 fires up for FP1 in Melbourne next Friday. He was sidelined for last Saturday’s Saudi Grand Prix with appendicitis, requiring surgery after he gamely ran in FP1 and FP2 for 42 laps despite being thoroughly under the weather.

This meant Ferrari F1 reserve Bearman was pulled out of the Formula 2 race he was set to contest (he Qualified on pole for the F1 Feature Race!) and donned the Red overalls. His F1 debut loomed with only FP3 and Qualy to go for the 18-year-old Briton.

What transpired was a mega-impressive debut for Bearman, who gave a good account of himself in Qualy, almost making it into Q3 and the next night he went on to claim Driver of the Day in Jeddah, finishing a solid P7 in his first Grand Prix. A deserved reward, after fending off a late-in-the-race attack from fellow Britons Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton. They both finished behind their younger countryman on the night.

After that showing, the world wants more of Bearman, and for sure the teenager wants more of Ferrari and F1! How long will he have to wait? Already he has been linked to Haas for next year… But even sooner than that, don’t count him out of the Grand Prix next weekend Down Under.

Will it be Sainz or Bearman for Ferrari in Melbourne?

Will Sainz be fit or not for Melbourne? Bearman

Meanwhile, while another bloke drove his Ferrari, Sainz wrote on Twitter from his hospital bed: “Underwent a smooth operation today and I’m feeling much better! Thank you for all your kind messages and to everyone that has looked after me these days here in Saudi, especially at the King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital.”

Sainz was quick to be discharged and was trackside on Sunday, which “amazed” Ferrari F1 boss Fred Vasseur. But is there a risk of sending the Spaniard out to battle too early?

The consensus online, regarding recovery time from appendix surgery, is best summed up by the UK’s NHS advice on the matter: “You should be able to return to normal activities in a couple of weeks, although you may need to avoid more strenuous activities for 4 to 6 weeks.”

Sainz will no doubt be subject to the most intense recovery programme. The kind afforded to top sportsmen and sportswomen who are injured and seeking rehabilitation as quickly as possible. Spain is among the leaders in sporting medicine and treating ‘wounded’ athletes.

Vasseur: I don’t want to rush anything

vasseur elkann sainz apendis recovery operation ferrari jeddah

When the team gathers at Albert Park, Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur will have the final word: “Now we are focusing entirely on his future, and the most important thing now is that he recovers properly.”

“Carlos is now flying back and will rest for a whole week. Then when he goes to Melbourne, we will make the decision. But I’m pretty optimistic. I don’t want to rush anything, but he is an adult and will make the right decision,” ventured Vasseur.

How ‘smart’ is it for Sainz to return within two weeks? Avoiding “strenuous activities for 4 to 6 weeks” means his next race should be in Japan, and that he should skip Round 3 of the 2024 F1 World Championship at Albert Park.

Be sure though, that’s the last thing Sainz wants as he is in his last season with Ferrari. Without a drive for 2025, after the Italian team finally scooped Lewis Hamilton for the seat alongside Charles Leclerc, Carlos has been flung into the middle of an unprecedented Silly Season.

After Ferrari what next for Sainz?

sainz leaves ferrari mercedes audi red bull f1 2025-002

This season Sainz needs all the ‘airtime’ he can find to deliver podium-winning performances as he did at the opener in Bahrain. That set the stage for what should be an impressive season, but for now, he is unemployed from the moment he climbs out of his Ferrari in Abu Dhabi, on 8 December for the last time.

For sure Sainz will be signed by an F1 team sooner rather than later. Long before the Hamilton-to-Ferrari news, his name has been almost constantly linked to Audi since their foray was announced.

There he will find their 2024 Dakar winner, Sainz’s father Carlos Senior plus team boss Andreas Seidl running the show, which are sure to be attractive ‘carrots’ for the 29-year-old Spaniard.

Reportedly, Sainz has had talks with Mercedes regarding a direct swap for Ferrari-bound Hamilton. But the driver market and Silly Season is in limbo right now as the future of Max Verstappen at Red Bull is being questioned, amid the Christian Horner “sex texts scandal” that has tarnished the World Champions. This has triggered huge uncertainty over Verstappen’s future.

Meanwhile, the rumours include Sainz to Red Bull; Sainz to Aston Martin; etc. Whatever the case, for now, he will focus on being in the #55 Ferrari all weekend in Melbourne…And a podium spot of course!

Don’t discount it because ‘The Smooth Operator’ is one of the hardest grafters on the grid, with true grit to go with it. However, Bearman in the car for Melbourne is a fine alternative for Tifosi, as they have just unearthed a diamond in their midst and watching him again won’t disappoint.

Let’s see how the Scuderia handle this one.