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Sainz set for Melbourne return after appendicitis surgery

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz is set to be back in the cockpit at the Australian Grand Prix this week after recovering from surgery for appendicitis, the team said Wednesday.

The Spaniard missed the last Formula One race in Saudi Arabia, with 18-year-old British reserve driver Oliver Bearman a late replacement.

The teenage rookie finished an impressive seventh in his debut, driving with the cool aplomb of a seasoned campaigner to underline his huge potential.

But Bearman is set to return to Formula 2 with Sainz fit again.

“Carlos Sainz is expected to be back in the car, having had to miss Jeddah with appendicitis,” Ferrari said in its race preview.

Sainz came third behind winner Max Verstappen and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez at the opening race of the season in Bahrain.

Red Bull repeated the one-two feat in Jeddah, where Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc filled the podium.

“We expect to be front runners on this track, which could produce a similar pecking order to the one seen in Jeddah,” Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur said of Melbourne’s Albert Park.

“We intend adopting an aggressive approach with the aim of putting pressure on the team that’s won the first two races.” 

Sainz is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season to make way for Mercedes’ seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

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