After a difficult Thursday, Carlos Sainz withdrew from this race weekend with a case of appendicitis forcing him into surgery this afternoon. This left Ferrari F1 with no choice but to replace him with reserve driver, Essex-born, Ollie Bearman. 

He was announced as Haas and Ferrari’s reserve driver in January 2023, being a part of the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2021. He finished the 2023 F2 championship in P6 last season, and won the F4 Championship in 2021.  

Bearman was given the call late this morning, giving him his F1 debut in not only free practice, but also qualifying and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. He qualified in an impressive P11 in this evening's session, narrowly missing out on Q3. His new teammate, Charles Leclerc, qualified in P2 completing the front row with Max Verstappen. 

Currently racing in F2 for Prema, Bearman missed out on the F2 sprint and race this weekend in which he qualified on pole for the race, leaving Prema Racing with a single driver for the weekend. His teammate, Kimi Antonelli, finished P6 in the F2 Sprint Race today (08.03). 

I wish Ollie the best of luck for this weekend, and much luck for his future career in Formula One.