JANUARY 8, 2003
Barnard joins Kenny Roberts MotoGP team
John Barnard, one of the most influential designers in modern F1 history, has turned his back on F1 and become technical director of Kenny Roberts's Team KR Proton in the MotoGP series. The former McLaren, Ferrari and Benetton technical director has been frustrated in recent years by the restrictions placed on engineers in Formula 1 and feels that there is much more freedom in motorcycle racing.
In recent years Barnard has been running his own company called B3 Technologies doing sub-contract work for F1 teams. His last high profile job was as a consultant to Prost Grand Prix but since that organisation went out of business Barnard has been looking for something else to do.
Barnard (56) has been working in motor racing since 1968 when he joined Lola as a junior designer. He made his name initially with the ground-effect Chaparral 2K Indycar and then moved to McLaren where he designed the first carbonfibre composite chassis in F1 history (beating Team Lotus by just a few weeks). The McLaren MP4/1 was the basis of an entire family of successful F1 McLarens in the mid-1980s and eventually Barnard was lured to Ferraari with a huge retainer and a design centre of his own in Britain. After a spell at Benetton and work on a secret Toyota F1 project for TOMS he went back to Ferrari and established another design centre in Britain which he later bought from Ferrari and tunred into B3 Technologies. In recent years he has been was involved with both Arrows and Prost.
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