Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain arrives to the paddock...

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain arrives to the paddock ahead of the Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024. Credit: AP/Darko Bandic

MELBOURNE, Australia — Carlos Sainz Jr. is expected to return for Ferrari at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix after undergoing surgery for appendicitis.

Sainz was ruled out after feeling unwell at the Saudi Arabian GP, prompting Ferrari to hand 18-year-old Oliver Bearman his Formula 1 debut hours before qualifying.

“Carlos Sainz is expected to be back in the car,” Ferrari said Wednesday.

Sainz finished third behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez at the season-opening Bahrain GP and Red Bull also went 1-2 in Saudi Arabia, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc placing third.

“We expect to be frontrunners on this track, which could produce a similar pecking order to the one seen in Jeddah,” Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur said.“We intend adopting an aggressive approach with the aim of putting pressure on the team that’s won the first two races.”

Bearman qualified in 11th and finished seventh in Saudi Arabia.

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