“A tricky day, but we managed to get it done” — Carlos Sainz on battling illness in F1 Saudi Arabia practice

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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Formula 1 isn’t just about raw speed and perfect technique; it’s a sport that demands resilience and unwavering determination. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz demonstrated this in spades at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, fighting through illness to compete on one of the calendar’s most demanding circuits.

His ordeal began when he was forced to cancel media commitments due to feeling unwell. Yet, Sainz refused to let his condition derail his weekend. He bravely participated in Thursday evening’s second practice session, finishing a respectable seventh – a testament to his fighting spirit. The demanding Jeddah circuit, with its relentless high-speed corners, only added to his challenge.

Reflecting on his difficult day, Sainz admitted: “Obviously a very difficult day after feeling sick. The last 24 hours have been tough and difficult for me.” However, he remained focused on his goals: “Today was all about trying to get myself on track and learn as much as possible from the car without really pushing too much the limits as I was still a bit on the non-ideal side, but we managed to complete the programme without issues.”

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Sainz expressed cautious optimism for improvement with his health tomorrow to give him the ability to challenge for a strong grid spot: “Hopefully tomorrow I’m feeling better, even if probably I will not be 100%. But feeling better will allow me to be more on the limit and perform a good Saturday.” His commitment to pushing through adversity is the hallmark of a true Formula 1 driver.

The track itself posed another obstacle, as Sainz noted: “The track is super high grip and high speed, so it also makes it tough from a physical point of view. It’s a lot more demanding for the car but also for the driver.” Yet, his determination never wavered, focused on overcoming the challenges for a strong qualifying session: “A tricky day, as I said, but we managed to get it done. Now we’ll go and take some rest and come back tomorrow stronger.”

Carlos Sainz’s experience at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is a powerful reminder of the mental fortitude required in Formula 1. Battling illness and the relentless Jeddah circuit, his drive and focus on recovery make him a competitor to watch this weekend.