The newest inductee to the Formula 3 winners list, Taylor Barnard was a driver on a mission last time out at Spa-Francorchamps. Flying in the ever-changing mixed conditions, the Jenzer Motorsport driver topped his maiden podium in the Sprint Race off with a masterful Feature Race victory.
Kicking back and relaxing over the summer break, we caught up with the British racer to find out who has made their mark on him. Casting his mind over those closest to home and a Formula 1 legend, Barnard says he wouldn’t have gotten to the top step of the podium without them.
“When I was younger, I was definitely aspiring to be like him. Looking at the old videos and seeing him as a driver on a person off track, that was definitely someone that I wanted to be like. I've tried to make myself as similar to him as possible as a person and in general as a driver. Of course, he was in my opinion, the best driver ever to live, so everyone wants to be like that.
“His aggression on track and his professionalism of his time was definitely the best compared to the other drivers around him. Also, he was a nice guy off track, he was not the same character on and off track, so I definitely aspired to be like that.
“The 1988 Monaco pole lap stands out for sure. Like he said, he was just steered by God. The lap was incredible to watch and I’m sure it was incredible to drive as well.”
“It has to be my dad; he’s sacrificed everything in his life to put me where I am today. I’m eternally grateful for what he’s done for me and if it wasn’t for him, I’m sure none of the things that got me to where I am today would be possible. He got me into motorsport as he was driving in karting.
"He went professional when he was younger but ran out of money and he felt kind of bad for that. So, he gave me absolutely every opportunity he could have and I’m here today trying to do the best I can for him.
“He was strict and he always threw me in at the deep end, but I think as you’re trying to be one of the best in the world, you always have to go against the best. That was always his mentality and I think it definitely made me a stronger driver.
"I think I’m doing quite a good job in both of our eyes and I’ll continue to improve and do as much as I can to make him proud. He gets nervous watching me I’m sure, but he’s still there for every race.”
“I really like the idea of what they are doing with drivers, taking them from where they were to where they are now. They have supported me so much from where I came from to where I am now. It's not an influence, but I really like what they're doing. They've helped me so much and it’s another thing like my dad - if it was not for them, I would not be where I am today, so a big thanks to them.
“I got a message from Roland Rehfeld (Sporting Director) and he got in contact with me about driving in 2021, but I didn’t have the money to go and drive for him. Then the year after they were doing the Formula 4 UAE Championship and they were rebranded as PHM, so there was a bit more extra money and he wanted to me to be one of their drivers. We did the Championship and it was just a bit of a test for me, I guess to see if I was good enough or not. Then, we did the European season in Italian and German F4 and it was just up and up and up from there.
“I came from nowhere; I had no results in 2021. Then, in my first actual race weekend with PHM I won, so I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done. I definitely think what they do to help me and how they’ve made me grow as a driver, I don’t really know how to put it into words and you cannot really put it on a scale.”