AIX Racing rookie Taylor Barnard took to the top step for the first time in FIA Formula 2, winning the Monte Carlo Sprint Race to earn his best result to date.

Ahead of Round 6 in Barcelona, we sat down with the Briton to ask about the key career moments that led him to F2 and his most recent victory.

2015 & 2021

“It’s more about specific seasons so to start with it would be 2015. I had a really tough year in karting. I was a kid so I don’t remember it as well as more recent seasons, but those years where you’re constantly struggling, I feel I’m one of those drivers that have had to fight for everything to get to where I am now. There are years where I’m not sure where I’d be driving the year afterwards, and I’m fighting so hard, so years like that really built me up to be more determined and dedicated to what I do.

“2021 was exactly the same situation to be honest. It was probably worse to be honest as funding was very tight at that point. So, I didn’t have any testing, did three races and then had to give up the Championship because I couldn’t afford it anymore. At that point, you make the transition from karts to cars and you’re already unsure of how you’re going to fare because it’s completely different to what you’ve been used to. I jumped in and I was finishing nearly last in all the races.

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“At what point do you say it’s not going to happen? Luckily, the PHM opportunity came around out of nowhere and that was probably one of the best moments. It was hard but very rewarding when I found out I’d be driving the following year.

“My career, the way it’s been where I’ve had to fight and not had it easy, February or March and I’ve not signed anything. That builds me up to who I am, I’m determined and dedicated no matter what and I’ll give 110 percent. It also makes me humble because I’m extremely grateful to even be here in the first place, let alone winning races. So generally speaking, as a career, racing has shaped me as a person.”


Barnard reflected on his 2015 and 2021 seasons as big parts in his career
Barnard reflected on his 2015 and 2021 seasons as big parts in his career

“To be sat on the grid in last is a hit for you. When you’re then in the middle of the race and you can feel that connection between you and the car, it’s something special. You’re flying past everyone and you’re not even in the car consciously driving, you’re just letting everything happen naturally. There was a point with five laps to go, there was a Safety Car and I remember thinking I just wanted the race to end because I’d had such a good race up to that point, and the next race would’ve been a reverse grid so I’d have been in a really good position. I had to forget about what had happened before because I needed to keep pushing.

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“After the Safety Car came in, I gained three places on that first lap back racing and I only needed one more for a podium and my heart rate was just going up and up. When you get super nervous, sometimes you get really shaky legs and the braking was becoming quite shaky at that point. It was definitely one of the most intense moments for me, that’s for sure. Crossing the line, finally letting everything out and celebrating, it was something so special.”

SPA & MONZA IN F3, 2023

Barnard picked his weekends in Spa and Monza in F3 as moments that made him
Barnard picked his weekends in Spa and Monza in F3 as moments that made him

“I think as a team we struggled to get everything sorted at the right times. We showed pace in the Practice sessions each weekend but sometimes Qualifying and the Races, it was never all at the right time on the same weekend. Even at Spa and Monza, my Qualifying wasn’t the best but the race pace was great. It never really came together on the weekends where we got results, we just maximised the pace we had at the right time and it’s not often you have the best pace across all of the sessions. You just have to capitalise on your specialties, like if you’re best at Qualifying then you have to ensure you start as far forward as possible.

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“I think in Spa I was P10 and it was good for points but not to win a race. The rain arrived, everyone was split on strategy and we maximised the conditions on the day and I think that’s what we did best.

“I think my Qualifying lap in Barcelona and the races in Monza were me at my best last year. I was down on preparation coming into the year, so it made sense that I was improving performances as the year went on. But Monza was my best race performance I think.”