Bearman heads to Melbourne amid Sainz’s Mercedes talks

F1 newcomer Oliver Bearman is set to head to Australia next week, keeping him on call for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who is on the mend following an emergency appendectomy. Sainz, who navigated his way slowly back into the Jeddah paddock with a drip bandage still on his arm, had left his Ferrari seat temporarily to Bearman, an 18-year-old British Formula 2 prodigy, who showcased his talent on the Saudi tracks by securing a seventh-place finish.

The focus shifts to whether Sainz will recover in time for the upcoming Melbourne race. “We will probably only make a decision in Melbourne,” remarked Frederic Vasseur, the Ferrari team boss, adding confidence in Bearman as a formidable stand-in, “At least we now know that we have a good replacement in Ollie.”

Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli, a seasoned F1 physician, had previously stated that Sainz’s recovery timeline should align well with the Melbourne race. Vasseur shared an optimistic view, “We have to take it step by step. He has to recover first and we will make a decision next week. We will have Oliver in the team just in case, but we are already optimistic that he (Sainz) will be there again.”

Sainz is slated to journey from Saudi Arabia to Madrid, before embarking on the lengthy trip to Australia. Vasseur, who visited Sainz, reported, “I visited him this morning,” noting Sainz’s resilience despite his condition, “and he looked quite well. He was here today. He is in pain and has difficulty walking, so some serious recovery lies ahead. He needs to rest well this week, so we’ll see. Now we need to focus on Melbourne.”

Sainz’s paddock appearance in Jeddah was seen by some as a testament to his dedication to F1, coinciding with a pivotal discussion about his future. Notably, Sainz’s father, along with his manager and advisor, was seen exiting the Mercedes hospitality suite after a meeting with Toto Wolff, fueling speculation about potential negotiations.

Former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa weighed in on the strategic moves, “That is the job that every driver and every manager has to do,” highlighting the constant maneuvering in the sport, “They say in F1 that managers are so important because when you sign a contract, they start studying how they can break it,” he chuckled, concluding with a stark observation, “In the end, what you learn in this sport is that you are worth only as much as your last race.”


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