Taylor Barnard finished runner-up in the 2022 ADAC Formula 4 season, behind champion Andrea Kimi Antonelli (16/ITA/Prema Racing). With five wins in nine races, no other driver was as successful as the Brit over the final three rounds. The course has already been set for the future: the 18-year-old attended a Formula 3 test back in September.
When the season reached the halfway point at the Dutch Formula 1 circuit in Zandvoort, Barnard was well behind Antonelli with 119 points to his name. However, the fourth race weekend, at the 3.629-kilometre sprint layout of the Nürburgring, proved the turning point and produced a first. Barnard claimed his maiden victory and became the first race winner of the season not to belong to the Prema Racing team. He showed nerves of steel, particularly in race eleven of the season, impressively fending off multiple overtaking attempts from Antonelli. “That weekend gave me a lot of confidence and could definitely be seen as my breakthrough. After the races, I had momentum on my side and was able to carry that into the rest of the season,” says Barnard. As well as another success in the Eifel, he also triumphed twice at the Lausitzring. And the young Brit also claimed the final victory of the season on the Grand Prix circuit at the Nürburgring.
Barnard discovered his passion for motorsport through his father when he was just seven years old. “He used to race karts and I went to the track with him one day. I was allowed behind the wheel too, and that was when it happened: from that point on, I just wanted more and more motor racing,” Barnard explains.
Even away from the racetrack, everyday life is dominated by motorsport, as Barnard is also involved in sim racing. When not doing that, he studies videos and onboard footage of his idol Ayrton Senna from his room in Norwich, England. Although the three-time Formula 1 world champion is from a totally different generation, Barnard still marvels at the Brazilian today. “For me, he is quite simply the best racing driver ever. I find it hugely impressive the way Senna used to race. I can learn a lot from him,” he says. However, Barnard also has his own little secret for success. “I always get into the car from the right, and nearly always put my left glove on first,” he reveals.
His performances in Formula 4 have not gone unnoticed: at the end of September, Barnard took his place at the wheel of a Formula 3 car for the first time and attended an official test in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The car there belonged to Swiss team Jenzer Motorsport, which also lines up in ADAC Formula 4. As such, there is a fair chance that Barnard will be taking the next step towards Formula 1 as he continues to climb the career ladder.