Carlos Sainz shares recovery update ahead of return to action in Australia after doing ‘as much as possible’

Carlos Sainz has provided an update on his recovery ahead of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, with the Spaniard set to get back behind the wheel of Ferrari for the first time since undergoing surgery for appendicitis.

Sainz was forced to skip the Saudi Grand Prix last time out after his diagnosis before Free Practice 3 on Friday morning, allowing reserve driver Oliver Bearman to step in and put in an impressive performance on his debut in F1.

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Ferrari confirmed on Wednesday this week that Sainz was likely to return to the cockpit in Melbourne, with Bearman – who will race in Formula 2 this weekend – on call for reserve duties.

Although Sainz has yet to hit the track, the 29-year-old spoke positively about his progress during Thursday’s media day.

When asked how much of a challenge it would be to get back in the car after surgery, Sainz replied: “I’ll let you know tomorrow when I’m back in the car and the G forces will make me move a little .

“But I feel ready. I did everything I could to recover and you can’t imagine the effort and logistics I went through to get in shape for this race. Progress, I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made and now, like I said, it’s time to get in the car and see how I feel.

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Ferrari appeared to have closed the gap slightly to Red Bull in Jeddah, with Charles Leclerc finishing the race in third place – just five seconds behind Sergio Perez in second – while Bearman scored points by crossing the line seventh .

As for whether the Scuderia can fight against the world champions this weekend if he feels healthy, Sainz said: “I will try, for sure.

“It’s not like I’m 100 percent because obviously I spent 10 days in bed – not 10 days of training and going to the simulator and preparing for a normal weekend . But if I’m fit to race and don’t have any pain or unpleasant symptoms, I can still have a good weekend and the goal will be to challenge Red Bull.

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Before taking time off in Jeddah, Sainz scored a podium at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix finishing third, while Ferrari currently sits second in the constructors’ standings with 49 points, 38 points behind the leader Red Bull.

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