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Sainz won’t be ‘stupid’ about running after surgery

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MELBOURNE: Two weeks after an operation for appendicitis and without training since the operation, Carlos Sainz will return to his Ferrari racing seat for the first free practice of the Australian Grand Prix on Friday.

The 29-year-old Spaniard, third in the season opener in Bahrain, had to give up his seat to reserve driver Olive Bearman at the Saudi Grand Prix as he recovered from an operation.

Sainz will return to the Albert Park track feeling less than 100% fit and without having trained in the team’s simulator in Maranello.

While confident he will be strong enough to drive during race week, he said he wouldn’t hesitate to give up his seat again if his body asked.

“If I don’t feel well tomorrow, I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say I still need two weeks before the next race,” he told reporters at the Albert Park paddock on Thursday. .

“And I’m the first one who doesn’t want to hurt or suffer or make things worse. So I’m not stupid. And I’ll be very clear about how I feel and everything.”

In his absence, Bearman finished seventh in his stellar F1 debut in Jeddah to be named F1’s ‘Driver of the Day’ and receive rave reviews from rival drivers.

Sainz was also impressed with Bearman’s performance, although admitting it was difficult to see anyone else in his car.

“Well, it’s not a good feeling, obviously, to not be able to race, especially after such a good start to the season, to see how competitive the car was again in Jeddah (and) to do the math of the number of points you lost because of the operation.” he said.

Sainz is not the first driver to quickly return from appendicitis.

Alex Albon also had it ahead of the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, which saw Nyck de Vries take his place in the Williams car, but the Thai driver returned for the next race in Singapore.

While unfazed by his lack of simulator work, Sainz admitted he wouldn’t know how his body would react to the rigors of racing until he got behind the wheel.

“Until you sit in an F1 car and feel the forces of it, it’s impossible to know,” he said.

“What I know is that today I am much better than yesterday, and yesterday I was much better than two days ago.

“So with this progress, I’m pretty encouraged and positive.”

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