Podcast: John Barnard, Engineering the Greats

Podcast

An F1 designer whose influence is visible in every current grand prix car, John Barnard worked with leading drivers and teams in the 1980s and 1990s. He tells us what it takes to engineer the greats

John Barnard wasn’t just headhunted by Ferrari. Such was his clout that Enzo allowed him to set up his own design operation in Guildford, well away from the scrutiny and politics of Maranello.

But then, by 1986, Barnard had already penned the Chaparral 2K that brought Johnny Rutherford an Indy 500 victory and introduced the carbon-fibre chassis and coke bottle shape that won titles for Niki Lauda and Alain Prost at McLaren.

At Ferrari, he would go in to develop the semi-automatic gearbox before moving to Benetton, putting the team on the track to championship glory.

In the latest of our Engineering the Greats podcast series, Barnard recalls highlights from his career; working with some of the top drivers of the era, and the larger-than-life team bosses of the era, including Enzo Ferrari, Ron Dennis and Flavio Briatore.

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