Formula E

Hand injury: Sam Bird withdraws from the Monaco E-Prix, Taylor Barnard makes Formula E debut for McLaren

Tobias Wirtz

Tobias Wirtz


A bombshell for McLaren: A few minutes before the start of the 2nd free practice session, the team announced that Sam Bird would be out for the rest of the race weekend with a hand injury following his accident in the 1st free practice session. Replacement driver Taylor Barnard will step in and make his Formula E racing debut.

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

Sam Bird crashed into the run-off zone of the Sainte-Devote corner at the end of the start-finish straight a few minutes before the end of the first free practice session, smashing his front right wheel into the track barrier. This is the second time in his Formula E career that the experienced driver has been ruled out with a hand injury: in 2022, he missed the season finale in Seoul after an accident at the London E-Prix.

This means that up-and-coming driver Taylor Barnard will make his Formula E debut completely unexpectedly. The young Briton has already driven the team's Gen3 car in several rookie sessions, most recently in Misano. Here, he set the fastest time in the so-called free practice 0, where each of the eleven teams had to field a Formula E rookie.

He hardly has any time to prepare: the second free practice session starts at 9.10 am.

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