Honda website
Honda website

APRIL 7, 1997

Barnard going it alone

ALAIN PROST has confirmed that he is not intending to do a deal with Ferrari designer John Barnard for the complete design of his future Formula 1 cars. Prost says it is more sensible to build on the technical team he currently has than to make a completely new start. This does not mean that Barnard will not be working on specific projects for Prost Grand Prix and other teams.

Barnard's deal with Ferrari runs out later this summer and John has already agreed terms which will see him take over the Ferrari Design & Development facility which he has built up in recent years at Shalford, in Surrey, England. Barnard has yet to give the go-ahead for his own company as he wants to be sure that there is enough sub-contract design work available.

The intention appears to be for Barnard to create a form of F1 research and development consultancy business, taking on different projects for different teams at the same time, much as Porsche or TWR do for the automotive industry.

There are already rumors that Barnard has an agreement with Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows team for the design and construction of a new gearbox.

With F1 booming at the moment and good engineers proving to be hard to find, it is probably a good time for Barnard to set up independently.