FEBRUARY 7, 2000
Barnard's new factory
ALAIN PROST is funding the construction of a new technical facility for John Barnard's B3 Technologies. The new factory will be in Godalming, Surrey, three miles from the current factory at Shalford, and should be completed by October. The original B3 factory in Shalford was built in 1993 as Ferrari Design and Development and remained a Ferrari facility until Barnard bought it in 1997. He began working with Prost after an abortive relationship with Arrows in 1998.
FDD was originally designed to design Ferrari chassis which would then be built in Italy. Over the years, however, the facility was expanded to produce complicated composite parts in England and had several autoclaves installed. When the relationship with Prost was announced in 1998 there was speculation that more and more parts would be made at B3 so that the team was able to keep in touch with the constantly-developing F1 technology in Britain. The fact that the company is expanding suggests that this is now happening. There has never been any intention for Prost Grand Prix to move to Britain.
"Prost Grand Prix will develop its own English technological arm," said Alain Prost, "to reinforce the collaborations that already exists with B3 Technologies of John Barnard and McLaren Cars", Prost added. "We are a team which holds great importance by conserving a spirit, if not an identity, that is French. So to transfer to Great Britain is out of the question."
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