Carlos Sainz ruled out of Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with British teenager stepping in at Ferrari

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Carlos Sainz has been ruled out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after being diagnosed with appendicitis.

British teenager Ollie Bearman will replace the Spanish driver in Jeddah and thus make his F1 race debut in Saturday’s race. He will become the youngest Briton to take part in a Formula 1 grand prix.

The 18-year-old, from Chelmsford in Essex, had on Thursday secured pole position for the F2 feature race but will now make the step up - he was 10th-fastest in third practice.

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.”

The development has handed a dramatic debut to Bearman, who is a reserve driver for both Ferrari and Haas this year. He made his F1 race weekend debut in Mexico last October, driving in first practice for Haas - a task he repeated at the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi as well.

Ollie Bearman will make his Formula One debut in Saudi Arabia (David Davies/PA) (PA Wire)
Ollie Bearman will make his Formula One debut in Saudi Arabia (David Davies/PA) (PA Wire)

Bearman, who turns 19 in May, was picked by team principal Fred Vasseur ahead of Israeli-Russian reserve Robert Shwartzman.

It is not yet known how long Sainz will be out of action for and whether he will be healthy enough to take part in the Australian Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.

Alex Albon missed the 2022 Italian Grand Prix after also being diagnosed with appendicitis, but was back two weeks later in Singapore.

Sainz, who was on the podium last week in Bahrain, leaves Ferrari at the end of the season when he is replaced by Lewis Hamilton.