Barnard to step in for injured Bird in Monaco

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Barnard to step in for injured Bird in Monaco

Pending FIA approval, NEOM McLaren's Reserve and Development Driver Taylor Barnard will step in to replace Sam Bird, after the 37-year-old injured his hand in Free Practice 1 in Monaco.

Taylor Barnard McLaren

Bird was found to have broken his hand after an incident in Free Practice 1 at the 2024 Monaco E-Prix, which saw the Brit lock up and hit the wall in the run-off area at Turn 1, Sainte Devote.

NEOM McLaren confirmed the injury in a statement after the session, once Bird had been examined and sent to hospital for further checks.

"The NEOM McLaren Formula E Team can confirm that Sam Bird will not be participating for the remainder of the Monaco E-Prix. Following his on-track incident, there are signs of a potential hand injury, which needs further medical attention. 

bird into wall at saint devote fp1 s10 r08

"Sam will be going to hospital for an x-ray to help clarify the nature of the injury. As a result, and pending approval from the FIA, Taylor Barnard will be stepping in for Sam for the remainder of the event, driving the #8 car for the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team.

"The team are already preparing the #8 car ready in time for FP2 following the damage. Further updates will be provided via the team when these become available."

Rapid rookie

Rookie Barnard will make his debut, then, in the Monaco E-Prix Round 8, having last turned a wheel a fortnight ago in Misano's Rookie Free Practice session - in which he finished top.

Barnard, from Norwich, England, entered single seater racing in 2020. Since then, he has become the 2022 ADAC Formula 4 runner-up, as well as the 2023 Formula Regional Middle East Championship runner-up. In 2023, during his debut season in FIA Formula 3, he took his maiden victory in the championship at Spa-Francorchamps and finished the season 10th in the Drivers’ standings. He has now moved up to FIA Formula 2 for the 2024 season.

Taylor got his first taste of Formula E racing in October 2023, having driven for the team as a rookie driver during the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s Valencia Pre-Season Test. Since then, he’s become an integral part of the team in his role as Reserve and Development Driver for NEOM McLaren.