Sam Bird to return for McLaren in Shanghai

NEOM McLaren has confirmed that Sam Bird will return from injury for this weekend’s Shanghai E-Prix.

Bird broke a bone in his left hand in a crash during practice for the Monaco E-Prix and subsequently missed the race in the principality, as well as the two that followed it in Berlin, being replaced by Taylor Barnard for all three. Bird has since undergone successful surgery three weeks ago, and has spent time in McLaren’s simulator in the last week, as well as remaining a part of the team on the ground to support Barnard.

Bird (center) was on-hand in Berlin to offer support for stand-in Barnard (left). Sam Bagnall/Motorsport Images


“We’re very pleased to have Sam back in the car for the Shanghai E-Prix,” said McLaren team principal Ian James. “Sam has shown an impressive dedication to his recovery and, after a successful operation, he has been able to complete his normal simulator sessions.

“As a result, both Sam and the team are confident he is fighting fit for the race in Shanghai. We are looking forward to seeing Sam back on track.”

Bird has enjoyed something of a resurgence in Formula E this year, tasting victory in the Sao Paulo E-Prix in what was his first since 2021 after two winless seasons with Jaguar, and Mclaren’s first in Formula E at all. But by sitting out three races on the bounce, Bird – a Formula E veteran who’s raced in the category since its inception and has the third-most race entries (122) and third-most race wins (12) – has missed almost as many races this season than the previous nine combined, having only sat out four before this season.

Barnard, who became a Formula E record-breaker in his own right while filling in for Bird by being both the youngest starter and youngest point scorer, took a best finish of eighth in the second Berlin race.

Story originally appeared on Racer