Designers who inspire

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

During my time at Williams I have been privileged to compete against a number of designers whose work I have respected but tried to beat on track. Outstanding among these were Gordon Murray, John Barnard and Rory Byrne.

Gordon rose to prominence at Brabham after Bernie Ecclestone bought the team. His first Formula 1 car, the BT42, was small, neat and fast. The BT44, a new car that developed the theme of the BT42, was a race winner with the two Carloses – Reutemann and Pace. A period with Alfa Romeo engines was not hugely successful, but included the BT46, an elegant car if its original surface radiator installation had worked, but it didn’t, and Gordon had to hurriedly include a front radiator and wide-nose configuration. The ‘fan-car’ version of this solved the radiator location problem, and won its only race at Anderstorp in 1978 before Bernie withdrew it. Probably a good decision, but I’m sure it disappointed Gordon.

The introduction of the turbo BMWs was an exciting time, as was Brabham’s re-introduction of refuelling into F1. In the early days with the BMW, while testing at Ricard, I saw a BMW engineer burst out of the caravan from which he was monitoring the real-time telemetry data, shouting to the pit “stop the car!”, only to hear at almost the same time a loud explosion from the main straight. Yet another turbo reduced to shrapnel… Eventually these problems got sorted and Nelson Piquet won the 1983 title with the BT53.

I first met John Barnard when I started at Lola Cars in 1970. John had been there a couple of years and was responsible mainly for the smaller single-seaters. I was very much the ‘new boy’ with a lot to learn, though I had an engineering degree from University College. Lola Cars, under Eric Broadley, was a great place to start.

One project which John and I shared was the T290 2-litre sports car. The quarter-scale layout was done by Eric and given to John and I with instructions to have the car ready to test in seven weeks. We worked long hours. The car was a successful model for Lola with a series of updates keeping it in production for many years.

One of John’s projects with which I was very impressed was the Chaparral 2K, an F1-inspired ground-effects Indycar he designed for Jim Hall with Gordon Kimble as his assistant and built by Bob Sparshott. The car was outstanding, and in 1980 Johnny Rutherford won both the Indy 500 and the Indycar championship with it.

John then moved on to McLaren with Ron Dennis, creating the foundation and approach still maintained by the team. In this period the first true carbon composite chassis was introduced and the Tag Porsche turbo V6, although designed and built by Porsche, was very much to the specification dictated by John.

John had a reputation for being tough to work with. I never found that, but he did set very high standards for himself and those around him. He is now designing furniture and medical instruments, still to high standards I’m sure.

Rory Byrne I’ve had less contact with, but have always been aware of his design approach and tenacity. The latter he may have learnt from Ron Tauranac in the early days with Ralts and Toleman F2 cars. Rory progressed from Royale Formula Fords through F2 and then into F1. His cars were always very individual, but became more effective, and the first win came under the Benetton name with Gerhard Berger in Mexico. In 1994 came the first title with Michael Schumacher and a Ford engine, and then with a Renault in ’95. Michael persuaded Rory and Ross Brawn to join him at Ferrari, where Ross was the public technical face but Rory the design lead. He should take much credit for the incredible series of title wins achieved by Michael and Ferrari. Rory is still highly competitive, still retained by Ferrari, but lives mainly in Phuket.

I find it surprising that the achievements of all three have not been more widely recognised, as all have brought much credit and inward investment to the UK.

Related articles

Related products