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Sainz shares recovery update ahead of return to action in Australia after doing ‘as much as possible’

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Carlos Sainz of Spain and Ferrari looks on in the Paddock during

Carlos Sainz has given an update on his recovery ahead of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, with the Spaniard set to get back behind the wheel of the Ferrari for the first time since undergoing surgery for appendicitis.

Sainz was forced to skip the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last time out after his diagnosis ahead of Free Practice 3 on Friday morning, which resulted in reserve driver Oliver Bearman stepping in and delivering an impressive performance on his F1 debut.

READ MORE: Ferrari provide update on Sainz ahead of Australian Grand Prix with reserve driver Bearman on call in Melbourne

Ferrari confirmed on Wednesday this week that Sainz was looking likely to return to the cockpit in Melbourne, with Bearman – who will be racing in Formula 2 this weekend – on call for reserve duties.

While Sainz has not yet hit the track, the 29-year-old spoke positively about his progress during Thursday’s media day.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 29: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-24 on track

Sainz is set to get back behind the wheel of the Ferrari SF-24 in Australia

Asked how much of a challenge it would be to get back in the car following surgery, Sainz responded: “I’ll let you know tomorrow when I get back in the car and the G-forces throw me around a bit.

“But I feel ready. I’ve done as much as possible to recover and you cannot imagine the effort and logistics that I have done to be fit for this race. Progress, I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made and now, as I said, it’s time to jump in the car and see how I feel.”

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Ferrari looked to have slightly closed the gap to Red Bull in Jeddah, with Charles Leclerc ending the race in third place – just five seconds back from Sergio Perez in second – while Bearman scored points by crossing the line in seventh.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari and Carlos Sainz of Spain

Sainz and team mate Leclerc will be hoping to take the fight to Red Bull in Melbourne

On whether the Scuderia can take the fight to the world champions this weekend should he be feeling in good health, Sainz said: “I’ll try for sure.

“It’s not like I’ll be 100 per cent for it because obviously I’ve been 10 days in bed – not 10 days training and going to the simulator and preparing for a normal weekend. But, if I’m fit to race and I don’t have any pain or any bad symptoms, I can still put together a strong weekend and the target will be to challenge the Red Bull.”

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Prior to sitting out the action in Jeddah, Sainz claimed a podium at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix by finishing in third, while Ferrari currently hold P2 in the constructors’ standings with 49 points, 38 points behind leaders Red Bull.

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