Sainz's Return To Track: Vasseur Shares Latest Updates On His Condition

Sunday, 10 March 2024 at 07:30
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Fred Vasseur discussed the condition of Carlos Sainz, who missed the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to an urgent surgery.
After scoring a P3 in Bahrain, Sainz looked forward to the weekend in Saudi Arabia. However, it already didn't start well when he couldn't attend the media day on Wednesday because he felt so unwell.
The Spanish driver then fought through FP1 and FP2 on the second day. However, on Friday, the day of qualifying, he was diagnosed with appendicitis and had to undergo surgery. His team principal, Fred Vasseur, told the media:

"It was a strange situation at the beginning of the weekend. We were convinced it was food [poisoning], but he struggled a lot of Thursday in both sessions with fever and stomach issues, but he was convinced that it would be much better the day after."

The Frenchman revealed that Sainz still thought he would attend the qualifying meeting on Friday morning as he was heading to the doctor for a checkup.

"But he called me [on Friday morning] and said, 'I will miss FP3, but I'll be there for qualifying for sure,' and at 11:30 am, he was in the hospital. It was quite clear that we were not going in the right direction."

When the team principal found out the 29-year-old wouldn't be able to attend the race at Jeddah Corniche Circuit, he had to make a very quick decision on who to put in the car instead.

"There was no delay in [putting Bearman] in, I don't remember the timing exactly, but as soon as it was clear from the doctor that [Sainz] would be unable to drive, we took the decision to put Oliver in."

Sainz underwent surgery on Friday and was in the paddock during the race. But, according to those present, it was clear from how he walked that he was in no shape to sit in the car.

"Thanks to the hospital in Jeddah and to everybody from the organisation that did the surgery, and this morning, I visited him and he was completely okay."

There is a one-week break between the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the Australian Grand Prix, so the Spaniard has two weeks to recover. Will he be able to do so and attend the next race? Vasseur isn't completely clear on this.

"It is a huge recovery, and we have to be focused on Melbourne. He will have a good rest this week and we will see [if he races in Australia.] I don't want to rush or something like, he is an adult and will take the right decision."