Tag Archives: Barnard

Static Show Car – Ferrari F310

Coming off two championship wins with Benetton in 1994 powered by Ford and 1995 powered by Renault Micheal Schumacher named his price, allegedly of the order of $30 million per year, and joined Ferrari in order to take up the challenge of attempting to become the first driver to win the World Drivers Championship in a Ferrari since Jody Scheckter in 1979.

Ferrari F310, Haynes IMM

John Barnard who’s designs include the Indy 500 winning Chaparral 2K and Grand Prix Winning McLaren MP4/1 and subsequent championship winning McLarens was responsible of the design of the F310 with which Schumacher was to win races in in 1996 and challenge for the championship in 1997.

Ferrari F310, Haynes IMM

The original version of the F310 featured the only low nose in the field …

Ferrari F310, Haynes IMM

but by the half way mark a high nose as pioneered by Dr Harvey Postlethwaite and Jean-Claude Migeot at Tyrrell in 1990 was permanently adopted by the Ferrari Team in order to maximize the use of airflow beneath the car to the advantage of the cars handling. It is curious that Jean-Claude Migeot did not introduce the feature during his spell at Ferrari in 1992.

Ferrari F310, Haynes IMM

The design if the F310’s side pods with a separate…

Ferrari F310, Haynes IMM

‘floor’ beneath harks back to the Ferrari F92A a design that proved so recalcitrant that it led to designers Jean-Claude Migeot and Steve Nichols replacement by John Barnard !

Ferrari F310, Haynes IMM

The F310 was the first Ferrari to feature a 3 litre / 183 cui V10 motor, although this static show car seen at the Haynes International Motor Museum probably does not even have a mock engine, again following pioneers Renault and Honda who had opted for this unusual yet successful layout in 1989. Reliability was an issue for these V10 motors though that did not stop Micheal winning 3 races in 1996 and challenging, albeit controversially, for the championship with the F310B in 1997.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Static Show Car’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Lotus 41. Don’t forget to come back now !


From Metal Bashing to Autoclave – McLaren MP4/1 #MP4/1-02

Thirty years ago I was extremely lucky to find my self working for six months in an accounts department of a double glazing manufacturer during the first of two industrial experience segments of my degree course. This meant I had the time and funds not only to spend a week at Le Mans but I also had the time and funds to spend a weekend at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

McLaren MP4/1, Silverstone BGP

During the 1980 / 1981 off season McLaren’s long time sponsor Philip Morris, disappointed with three years of under achievement coerced team principle Teddy Meyer into a merger with Project Four a lower tier Formula 2 team run by Ron Dennis which coincidentally was also sponsored by Philip Morris.

Ron Dennis had hired the designer, of the Chaparral 2K Indy Car, John Barnard to design a new car for McLaren which became known as the MP4/1. Outwardly the car was a conventional ‘kit car’ using a Cosworth DFV engine that had been the motor of choice since 1966.

However beneath the paint work John Barnhard’s chassis was the first to be wholly manufactured with carbon composite materials, which until 1981 had been primarily used in the aerospace industry. Carbon composite materials when pressure and heat treated in an autoclave, a process developed by the Royal Aircraft Establishment in 1963, can be used produce objects that have high flexibility, tensile strength and temperature tolerance while at the same time have low thermal expansion and low weight compared to similar metal objects.

By the end of the 1980’s all Formula One chassis were being manufactured from carbon composites along with brake discs and suspension components.

John Watson, seen during practice for the British Grand Prix here, qualified fifth for the 1981 British Grand Prix. At the start of the race the two turbo charged Renaults and Ferraris made the best get away but on lap 3 Gilles Villeneuve clipped a curb and spun,see clip 1m 20secs, an incident which took out Alan Jones on the spot.

Somehow John Watson who was right behind Jones managed to avoid the melee almost coming to a stop as he did so, which in turn caused his team mate Andrea de Cesaris behind him to take evasive action and spin off into the catch fencing.

After loosing a lot of time Watson set off in sixth place behind Piquet, Reutemann, Pironi, Arnoux and Prost. Piquet crashed out with a puncture, Watson then over took first Reutemann and then Pironi who’s engine exploded on the next lap. Prost retired with distributor trouble which put John in 2nd place behind Arnoux who had a comfortable lead.

On lap 53 Arnoux started experiencing the same problems as Prost and 8 laps later a huge roar went round the circuit as Belfast born John took the lead of his home Grand Prix which he held until the end of the race.

This was John’s second Grand Prix victory his first was in the Penske PC4 in 1976 and the first victory for McLaren under the guidance of Ron Dennis. McLaren’s last victory had been with James Hunt in 1977.

John drove this same chassis #MP4/1-02 to victory in the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s British GP edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS It is with great sorrow that I learned of the passing of William ‘Bill’ Boddy MBE known to many as ‘WB’ who edited Motor Sport magazine from 1936 to 1991, an organ which played no small part in my addiction to motoring and motor sport in the 1970’s and ultimately to this blog.

He famously ran Motor Sport magazine through the war years during his spare time while working on important Air Publications.

Bill was a vociferous opponent to the 70 mph speed limits introduced to Britain as a temporary measure by Tom Fraser in 1965 after a spate of accidents in fog and the alleged testing of an AC Cobra at speeds up to 180 mph on the M1 motorway.

WB was aged 98, sincerest condolences to his family and many friends. RIP ‘WB’.


Yellow Submarine – Chaparral 2K

In 1978 Colin Chapman revolutionised Formula One car design by introducing ‘ground effect’ to the upper echelons of open wheel racing with his Lotus 79.

By 1979 many Formula One teams were making copies and variations of the Lotus 79 using curved ‘venturi’ in the side pods between the wheels to gain traction grip by controlling the airflow between the lower surfaces of the car and surface of the road to create lowered air pressure underneath the car which ‘sucked’ the car to the road as it moved, the faster these vehicles were driven the more grip there was available.

800px Chaparral 2 Ks

Photo Dan Wildhirt

When, in 1978, former Taurus Super Vee designer and McLaren draftsman John Barnard was employed to build an Indy Car for Jim Hall and the Chaparral team to replace their Lola T500 Champ Car, Barnard was the first to transfer the latest Formula One thinking to the Brickyard for the Indy 500.

Al Unser Snr qualified the Chaparral 2K 3rd on it’s debut at Indy and then ran away with the race until the transmission failed on lap 104.

The following year Al Unser Snr moved to the Longhorne team who were building a car based on a design by former Super Vee engine builder Patrick Head who’s Williams FW07 design started winning formula one races in 1979 and would win the Formula One World Constructors championships in 1980 and 81.

Indy80 023s

Photo Ed Arnaudin

Johnny Rutherford pictured here alongside Mario Andretti, became the beneficiary of Al Unsers decision to move taking the Chaparral to Victory Lane at the Brickyard in 1980 and onto the PPG Indy Car World Series championship.

In all the Chaparral 2K won six races from 27 starts over three seasons. John Barnard moved back to Formula One with McLaren in 1980 where he introduced the first Carbon Fibre Composite (CFC) chassis into the series, almost all top open wheel series run vehicles using CFC chassis these days, and later in 1989 while working for Ferrari in 1989 he introduced the worlds first paddle shift electronic gear shift mechanism.

Between them Barnard and Patrick Head were the dominant designers during the 1980’s in Formula One interestingly they once worked together for a 46 year old London Taxi driver come racing driver Ronnie Grant on his Formula Super Vee team.

My thanks to Steve Arnaudin for scanning his Dad’s photo.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Yellow Submarine edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !