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Barnard to lead at the Berlin double-header in injured Bird absence

NEOM McLaren Formula E faces a change of course for the upcoming Berlin E-Prix. Following a successful surgery for veteran driver Sam Bird, the team will turn to their rookie, Taylor Barnard, to take the reins.

The upcoming Berlin E-Prix double-header will see a change in NEOM McLaren Formula E team lineup. Taylor Barnard will step in for the injured Sam Bird. The British driver’s absence for the next few races is due to a recent surgery on his injured hand. Bird sustained this injury during a crash in the first practice session of the Monaco E-Prix last weekend.

The 37-year-old’s misfortune occurred when he hit the barrier into Sainte Devote. Sadly resulting in a broken bone in his left hand. This injury is reminiscent of Bird’s previous setback in 2022.

After being evaluated in Monaco, it was confirmed that Bird had once again fractured a bone in his left hand. Subsequently, he returned to the UK for a successful surgery earlier this week.  NEOM McLaren expressed optimism about his recovery and eventual return to racing. Despite missing at least the Berlin E-Prix.

“Positive progress on Sam’s recovery”

Ian James, the team principal of NEOM McLaren, expressed satisfaction with Bird’s progress, stating, “We’re very pleased to report positive progress on Sam’s recovery, with a successful operation on his hand supporting his journey back into the car.”

The positive outcome of the surgery allows Bird and the team to focus on a swift recovery and his return to racing. Due to the injury, Taylor Barnard will step in for Bird at the upcoming Berlin E-Prix. Barnard, the team’s Reserve and Development Driver, will pilot the #8 car.

Taylor Barnard to drive in Berlin

The 19-years old Barnard will fill Bird’s shoes for the Berlin E-Prix. Barnard made headlines when he became the youngest starter of a Formula E race during the recent Monaco E-Prix. Despite being informed just before the second practice session, Barnard showcased remarkable composure and skill, eventually finishing 14th.

James stated, “Taylor did a stellar job in his last-minute call-up in Monaco, as did the team, who provided him with great support and guidance throughout.”

”He will now be able to build on that experience, while Sam works on his recovery – with the team’s full support.”

Reflecting on his unexpected debut in Formula E, Barnard admitted that there wasn’t much time to dwell on the pressure. His swift adaptation to the electric racing series highlights his potential and readiness to compete at the highest level of motorsport.

Barnard’s stint with McLaren in Formula E comes amidst his commitments in Formula 2 this season. Despite initially slated to participate in the rookie test following the Berlin E-Prix double-header, Barnard’s elevation to the main team roster precludes his involvement in the test. Mclaren still need to reveal his last new driver for the Rookie Test.


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