Skip to content

Australian GP: Carlos Sainz says he 'could barely move' before flight ahead of comeback win in Melbourne

Carlos Sainz completed a remarkable comeback from surgery by winning the Australian Grand Prix for Ferrari on Sunday; Sainz missed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after undergoing an appendectomy on March 8

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Carlos Sainz and Frederic Vasseur celebrate Ferrari's huge victory in Australia!

Australian Grand Prix winner Carlos Sainz has revealed he could "barely move" before boarding his flight to Melbourne ahead of completing a remarkable victory on his comeback from surgery.

Sainz was ruled out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when he was forced to undergo an appendectomy the day before the race on March 8, with his participation in Australia initially placed in doubt.

The Ferrari driver remained unsure whether his body could cope with the rigours of the high-speed Albert Park Circuit when he stepped into the car for practice on Friday, but gradually improved throughout the weekend before taking advantage of Max Verstappen's early retirement to control Sunday's race.

"Now, you ask me, nine days ago, when I was about to catch the flight to come to Australia, I was still in bed," Sainz said after claiming the third win of his F1 career.

"Barely I could use my abdominal to move. And I was like, this is not going to happen. But I took the flight, and suddenly when I landed in Australia, the feeling was a lot better.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Australian GP from Albert Park, Melbourne

"And every 24 hours, I was making a lot more progress than the first seven days, which is actually what all the doctors and all the professional people told me."

Having previously refused to reveal the treatment methods he was using to prepare for the race, Sainz confirmed that multiple daily sessions in a hyperbaric chamber were among the lengths he had gone to.

Also See:

"As soon as I got my appendix removed, I went on the internet and started talking with professionals and said, 'okay, what helps to speed up recovery?'

"And obviously from that point onwards, I started doing all the sort of things that you can do to speed up recovery, the wounds, the scar tissue, what you can help to be faster on that, talking to other athletes, talking to other doctors in Spain, internationally. And then I put together a plan with my team.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sainz was very proud of his performance after such a 'tough start of the year'

"The reason why athletes recover faster is because you can dedicate 24 hours per day for seven days to recovery. And that's exactly what I did. I started going to hyperbaric chambers twice a day for one hour, taking an Indiba machine, that is an electromagnetic thing for the wounds.

"I was programming my time in bed, my time to go for a walk, my time to eat, the kind of food that you have to recover. Just everything is centred around recovery to try to be ready for Australia."

'Life is a rollercoaster sometimes'

Sainz's victory maintains a strong start to season which saw him finish third in Bahrain behind a Red Bull one-two, with the Spaniard only 11 points back from championship leader Verstappen despite having missed a race.

The 29-year-old's form has been all the more impressive given he is driving for his F1 future having been let go by Ferrari for next season following the signing of Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports' Craig Slater discusses Sainz's future following the Ferrari driver's victory in Australia and looks at the current Drivers' Championship standings

Sainz admitted that the shock of an expected contract renewal with Ferrari falling through made the result extra special.

"I think it's not only the last two weeks. It's the whole start to the year in general, how the year started with the news of the non-renewal," he said.

"Then you get yourself fit. You get yourself ready for the start of the season, pushing flat out. And then you get to Bahrain. You do a good podium. You say, 'okay, now the season is starting well and I can keep the momentum going'.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sainz produces an incredible performance to win the Australian Grand Prix for a Ferrari 1-2, while George Russell crashes out on the final lap for a Mercedes double DNF

"And suddenly, boom, missing a race in Jeddah and the operation. Long days in bed, not knowing if I was going to be back in time. Obviously, a lot of unknowns. Am I going to be back fit? Am I going to be back feeling still good with the car?

"And then suddenly you come back and win. So, yes, what I said on the radio - life is a rollercoaster sometimes, but it can be really nice and good to you sometimes. Just letting it sink in and enjoying the moment."

Formula 1's biggest ever season continues with the Japanese Grand Prix, live on Sky Sports F1 from April 5-7. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership - No contract, cancel anytime

Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp!

Sky Sports WhatsApp channel

You can now start receiving messages and alerts for the latest breaking sports news, analysis, in-depth features and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel!

Find out more here...

Around Sky