Formula E

Barnard steps in again at McLaren: Sam Bird misses Berlin E-Prix after hand injury

Svenja König

Svenja König


Taylor Barnard will contest a second Formula E weekend with McLaren: He will also deputise for Sam Bird at the Berlin E-Prix, as the British team announced on Thursday evening. Bird injured his hand after an accident in Monaco and has now undergone surgery in the UK. However, he will miss the German races.

Following an accident in the first free practice session in Monaco, Sam Bird was treated in hospital in Monaco last Saturday and was later seen at the track with a cast on his left hand. The treatment was continued after his return to Great Britain. Surgery was successfully carried out during the week, McLaren reported in a press release. The Briton can now focus on a speedy recovery:

"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", team boss Ian James is quoted as saying in the press release. "We’re looking forward to having Sam back in the car soon."

Barnard ahead of another Formula E outing in Berlin

However, the hand will not be fully recovered ahead of the the Berlin E-Prix in just under a week's time, meaning that Sam Bird will not be taking part in the two races in the German capital. Reserve driver Taylor Barnard, who took over his cockpit at short notice in Monaco, will once again step in for him. On his Formula E debut, the 19-year-old stayed out of the numerous incidents in Monaco and finished 14th with a good race. He now has two more Formula E appearances on his CV in Berlin.

"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", James continued.

The 19-year-old's nomination comes as no surprise, as he had already announced after the race in Monaco that he was preparing for another call-up should the worst happen. McLaren CEO Zak Brown hinted at the same. He will therefore spend a few more hours in the simulator before the Berlin E-Prix in order to familiarize himself with the new track within a week and get even more used to the car.

Bird's accident is not the first of its kind since the introduction of the Gen3 car. Sebastien Buemi and Robin Frijns have also broken bones in their hands after accidents. The latter also missed several races and was replaced by Kelvin van der Linde at ABT Cupra.

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