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Ferrari to hand Oliver Bearman, 18, F1 debut in Saudi GP with Carlos Sainz requiring emergency surgery

Ferrari to hand Oliver Bearman, 18, F1 debut in Saudi GP with Carlos Sainz requiring emergency surgery

The teenager will make his debut this weekend.

A British teenager will make his F1 debut for Ferrari after Carlos Sainz dropped out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to emergency surgery.

Carlos Sainz will miss the race in Jeddah this weekend after being diagnosed with appendicitis.

The Spaniard participated in both practice sessions on Thursday after missing media duties on Wednesday due to illness, but Ferrari have now confirmed that he will have to undergo surgery.

18-year-old British driver Oliver Bearman will take his place on the grid, a little over a month after he was confirmed as one of Ferrari's reserve drivers.

A Ferrari statement read: "Carlos Sainz has been diagnosed with appendicitis and will require surgery.

"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."

Bearman will become the youngster driver to ever race for Ferrari, surpassing a record that has stood since 1961 when 19-year-old Ricardo Rodriquez featured at the Italian Grand Prix.

However, Max Verstappen will remain the youngster ever F1 driver. The Dutchman was 17 when he debuted in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.

Bearman has been part of the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2021, and claimed pole position in Formula 2 qualifying in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

The Essex-born teenager finished sixth in his debut F2 campaign in 2023, winning three feature races and one sprint race.

He will become the 12th British F1 driver to race for Ferrari, and the first since Eddie Irvine left the team in 2000.

Sainz finished third in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend, with Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc coming fourth.

Sainz will leave Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season when Lewis Hamilton joins the team from Mercedes.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Ferrari, Formula 1