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Taylor Barnard to make Formula E debut with McLaren in Monaco E-Prix

by Ida Wood

Photo: McLaren

Formula 2 racer Taylor Barnard has received a last-minute call-up by McLaren to make his Formula E debut in today’s Monaco E-Prix.

The 19-year-old will be taking the place of Sam Bird, who broke his hand during a crash in the event’s opening practice session this morning.

McLaren first utilised Barnard in FE pre-season testing at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit last October, then this January signed him as its reserve and development driver in the championship. That led to him driving in the rookie-only practice session at the Misano E-Prix two weeks ago.

The assessment of Bird’s injury and the permission from the FIA to replace him has come quick enough for Barnard to be in the car for FP2, pending McLaren repair it in time, then qualifying takes place just an hour after that in a packed morning schedule. There will then be three hours for Barnard and the team to analyse data before he starts his maiden FE race.

Barnard started 2024 in Formula Regional Middle East, taking five wins and four poles as he became championship runner-up for the second year in a row with PHM Racing. He then stepped up to F2 with the team, and three 13th places have been the best results from his first six races. His average qualifying position has been 14th, although he was ninth fastest on debut.

This week it was also announced that W Series race-winner and F1 Academy champion Marta Garcia will drive in FE’s rookie test in Berlin next month for the Electric Racing Technologies team.