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McLaren keeps Barnard in injured Bird’s Formula E seat for Berlin E-Prix

by Ida Wood

Photo: Simon Galloway

McLaren has announced that Taylor Barnard will continue to substitute for the injured Sam Bird at next week’s Berlin E-Prix, having debuted in the Monaco E-Prix last weekend.

Barnard received a last-minute call-up in Monaco when Bird broke his hand in the event’s opening practice session. The team’s reserve driver was in the car for FP2, which he was slowest in, and after qualifying 22nd and last he made his way up to 14th place in his maiden race.

Bird had surgery on his hand, but the recovery timeline has denied him a speedy return to the cockpit. His hope is to be back racing at the Shanghai E-Prix on May 25/26, when Barnard would not be free to stand in for him since the event clashes with Formula 2’s Monaco round. The 19-year-old is currently in his rookie F2 season, with three 13th places his best results.

“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,” said McLaren’s FE team principal Ian James.

There will be another F2 driver on the FE grid in Berlin, as a calendar clash has left Envision Racing without its usual drivers and required it to sign two replacements. One of those is Paul Aron, who has taken three podiums from his first eight F2 starts and is currently second in the standings.