Mar.18 - One wild theory suggests that Carlos Sainz might struggle to get back at the wheel of his Ferrari this year.

In Saudi Arabia, where the Spanish driver had to undergo emergency appendix surgery, his 18-year-old rookie replacement Oliver Bearman impressed.

"He did very well," former Haas boss Gunther Steiner, who was in Adelaide at the weekend for a motorsport festival, told Ziggo Sport.

"He is a very good driver - very stable and calm. He didn't want to go too fast. He took his chance, but did not aim for a podium place.

"If he had given 10 percent more and crashed, he would be known as the boy who did something stupid and didn't take his chance. Now people have something to think about," Steiner added.

Indeed, Bearman is now strongly linked with a full-time 2025 debut for the Ferrari-affiliated team that Steiner ran until his ousting over the winter.

Dutch journalist Jack Plooij, however, thinks Bearman will actually get another chance to wear red this weekend in Melbourne.

"Sainz won't make it," he predicts. Sainz, 29, is currently en route from Europe to Australia after a week of recovery, but he had already ambled very slowly back into the paddock at Jeddah, just a day after his surgery.

"I thought that was very strange," former F1 driver Robert Doornbos said. "I think it was political - to say 'don't write me off yet, I'm still here'."

Indeed, Sainz will be replaced at Ferrari by Lewis Hamilton next year, so it might make perfect sense to replace him with Bearman now - given that Sainz will be taking development insights to a rival team in 2025.

"Everyone is saying that he will no longer have access to this or that, so why not? And if Bearman wins in Australia, what then?" Plooij wonders.

Former F1 driver Luis Perez-Sala, once an advisor to the now-defunct HRT team, thinks Sainz's pride will have been hurt by Ferrari's signing of Hamilton.

"For sure," he told AS newspaper. "It is very difficult for me to understand a decision like that before starting a season. It's not a good thing for your current driver or your team.

"They are all very professional, but it is not the ideal situation. I think that of all the available drivers, he is the best possible option for any team that wants to fight for the world championship.

"He would be good for Mercedes, and quite possibly for Red Bull as well," Perez-Sala added.

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One F1 fan comment on “Sainz's Uncertain Return Puts Ferrari in Bearman's Hands

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    The 2022 Italian-Singapore GP interval was long enough for Albon, so equally the ongoing interval should be enough for Sainz & in any case, definitely not out for the whole remaining season.
    That's just ridiculous thinking by someone.


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