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Ferrari sells FDD to Barnard

FERRARI has sold its Ferrari Design and Development facility in Shalford, Surrey, to John Barnard. The operation will now be known as B3 Technologies Ltd., although it is expected to be absorbed very quickly into Tom Walkinshaw Racing's Arrows F1 team.

Barnard joined Ferrari in 1992 on the understanding that he would be able to work from a facility near his home in Guildford. Ferrari funded the setting up of the design office and later added production departments, model-making shops and a small testing laboratory as well. Barnard is rumored to have paid the Italians $1.2m for the facility - although there are suggestions that he has sold it on to TWR for $2.7m in a deal which involves designing for Walkinshaw for the next three years.

The name B3 Technologies, incidentally, appeared in the contract between Barnard and TWR, which was leaked to The Sun newspaper a fortnight ago. It remains to be seen how many of FDD's 50 employees stay on with Barnard at TWR. Some of the staff want to stay in the Guildford area and have found jobs with McLaren and Tyrrell - which are both nearby.

The FDD staff includes a number of highly-rated F1 designers, including former Tyrrell technical director Mike Coughlan.

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