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Bird to miss Monaco E-Prix due to hand injury, Barnard set to make Formula E debut

Sam Bird will miss the Monaco E-Prix after the McLaren Formula E driver damaged his hand in opening practice, with Taylor Barnard set to replace him.

Sam Bird, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

The Briton suffered the injury to his left hand approaching the final 10 minutes of FP1 on Saturday morning, after he locked up into the opening turn, Sainte Devote.

Bird took to the escape road at high speed, with the right front wheel of his McLaren hitting the barrier and with his hands still on the steering wheel.

Despite getting out of the car unaided and walking back to the pits, further assessment has revealed an injury that will put Bird out of today's Monaco E-Prix.

Bird previously damaged his left wrist in London while driving for Jaguar in 2022, which meant he missed the season finale in Seoul.

Following a trip to hospital where he was x-rayed, McLaren confirmed that Bird has broken one bone in his left hand and "will require further treatment".

A statement from the McLaren team read: "Due to a hand injury sustained during Free Practice 1, Sam Bird will not participate in the remaining sessions at the Monaco E-Prix.

"As a result, and pending approval from the FIA, Taylor Barnard will be stepping in for the remainder of the event."

Sam Bird, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, e-4ORCE 04

Sam Bird, NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, e-4ORCE 04

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Barnard is McLaren's reserve driver in Formula E and has taken part in a number of rookie sessions with the team, the most recent coming earlier this month in a 30-minute session ahead of the Misano E-Prix which he topped.

The 19-year-old Briton has yet to start a Formula E race and is currently racing in Formula 2 with PHM AIX Racing, recording a best result of 13th so far.

Previously, the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award finalist in 2023 raced in F3 with Jenzer Motorsport last year where he finished 10th overall after recording one win at Spa.

Bird is one of several drivers who has suffered a hand injury following a crash in the last year.

Envision driver Robin Frijns missed four Formula E races last season after suffering a collision in the opening race of the season in Mexico City, with the Dutchman requiring surgery to pin and set the broken bones before returning over two months later.

In Formula 1, Daniel Ricciardo suffered a similar fate after crashing during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix in 2023 which also sidelined the Australian for four races across a two-month period.

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