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Ferrari to close Shalford design office?

FERRARI president Luca di Montezemolo told Italian pressmen at Silverstone that Ferrari intends to gradually phase out its Ferrari Design and Development facility at Shalford in England and move everything to the team's headquarters at Maranello in Italy.

Ferrari's English designer John Barnard said that he had heard rumors of the plan but had not been told anything by Ferrari itself.

The Englishman is under contract to Ferrari until the end of July next year and would like to continue with FDD which he says is now finally working as it should do, leaving the current F310 to the Ferrari race team in Italy while he and his designers conduct research & development for the 1997 car.

To phase out FDD would, effectively, mean that Ferrari intends to dump Barnard because the entire facility was built at his insistence. Barnard is still not keen to work abroad - away from the British motor racing network - and so his long-term future with the team must be considered under threat. The problem is that Ferrari needs to find someone to replace him and the supply of good F1 technical directors is currently very limited.

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