John Barnard

British Design Engineer

Born 1946

John Barnard is one of the most innovative racing car design engineers of his generation.

John barnard photo credit Greg Pajo

John Barnard is one of the most innovative racing car design engineers of his generation.

Barnard’s first experience in the limelight came when his Chaparral 2K chassis won the prestigious Indianapolis 500. He pioneered and built the world’s first carbon fibre monocoque, winning three consecutive Formula One world championships for McLaren. Uniquely he has been technical director⁄ chief designer at both Ferrari and McLaren. Headhunted by Ferrari he pioneered for them the first hydro electronic gearbox, a system that is now used by all Formula One teams. His system of using paddles on the steering wheel and an automatic clutch has now migrated to road cars. Asked to re-join Ferrari in 1992 he designed and built Ferraris in the UK from 1993-1997. His Ferrari 641, one of the most beautiful Ferrari racing cars, is in the MoMA, New York permanent collection. His influence can be seen in every single car on the grid today.