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Benetton Formula

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Benetton Formula Ltd., commonly referred to simply as Benetton, was a Formula One constructor that participated from 1986 to 2001. The team was owned by the Benetton family who run a worldwide chain of clothing stores of the same name. In 2000, the team was purchased by Renault, but competed as Benetton for the 2000 and 2001 seasons. In 2002, the team became Renault F1. The Benetton Formula team was chaired by Alessandro Benetton from 1988 to 1998.[2]

History

Benetton's last Formula One car, the B201 driven by Jenson Button.
Benetton's last Formula One car, the B201 driven by Jenson Button.

The Benetton Group entered Formula One as a sponsor company for Tyrrell in 1983, then Alfa Romeo in 1984 and 1985 and finally Toleman in 1985. Benetton Formula Ltd. was formed at the end of 1985 when the Toleman team was sold to the Benetton family. The team began with BMW engines and then later switched to Ford then Renault and finally Playlife.

The team was managed by Peter Collins from 1986 to 1989 and Flavio Briatore from 1990 until 1997. In about 1991, TWR acquired a one-third stake in the team, bringing in Tom Walkinshaw and Ross Brawn to run the engineering operations. Rocco Benetton, the youngest son of Luciano Benetton joined the team as Chief Executive in 1998 and fired Briatore. He replaced him with Prodrive boss David Richards, who lasted only for a year when he too was fired, due to a disagreement with the Benetton family about future strategy. Following Richards's departure, Rocco Benetton managed the team for three years until its sale to Renault.

The Benetton team is best known for its success with Michael Schumacher,[3] who accounts for 19 of the team's 27 career victories and their 2 Drivers' Championships. After switching to Renault engines, they also won the Constructors' Championship in 1995 with Schumacher and Johnny Herbert. After 1995, Schumacher moved to Ferrari along with Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and 11 other key figures from his two championship winning seasons with Benetton.

On 16 March 2000, the team was sold to Renault for $120 million US. As part of their restructuring, Renault brought back Flavio Briatore as team manager. The team still used the Playlife engines (although descended from Renault motors) they had been using for the last two years. The drivers were Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz. The team scored 20 points, as well as 3 podium finishes in 2000 at Brazil, Monaco and Canada.

During their final season in 2001 the drivers, Jenson Button and Giancarlo Fisichella, were often on the back two rows of the grid. This was in part attributed to the new 111-degree wide angle engine. But continued development allowed Benetton to leave Formula 1 on something of a high, and the cars' performance lifted. Button and Fisichella scored 10 points for the team, including a podium finish for Fisichella in Belgium.

Controversy

During the 1994 season, some rival teams claimed Benetton had found a way to violate the FIA-imposed ban on electronic aids, including traction control and launch control. On investigation, the FIA discovered "start sequence" (launch control) software in the Benetton B194 cars, and a variety of illegal software in rival teams' cars as well. FIA had no evidence the software was ever used, so teams found with the software received little to no punishment. No traction control software was found to be in the Benetton cars, however. Flavio Briatore, Benetton's chief in 1994, said in 2001 that "Our only mistake was that at the time we were too young and people were suspicious".[4]

During the 1994 season Benetton removed a fuel filter from the refueling rig used during pit stops. This resulted in a fire that took place during Jos Verstappen's first pitstop at Hockenheim. This resulted in further inquiries by the FIA, during which, the refuelling rig manufacturer made clear that in their opinion the modification would have resulted in 10% higher flow rates than the rules allowed[citation needed].

Nationality

Michael Schumacher driving for Benetton in the 1995 British Grand Prix. Benetton won the 1995 World Constructors' Championship as a British team in their first season with Renault power.
Michael Schumacher driving for Benetton in the 1995 British Grand Prix. Benetton won the 1995 World Constructors' Championship as a British team in their first season with Renault power.

Benetton Team had a British licence from 1986 to 1995 and an Italian licence from 1996 to 2001,[5] thus becoming only the second constructor (after Shadow in 1976) to officially change its nationality. The Benetton family wanted this change of nationality in order to have an F1 team of their own country.[6][7][8] Benetton remains the only constructor to have achieved victory while racing under two different nationalities. The team was based in the UK throughout. Firstly at the old Toleman factory, in Witney, Oxfordshire and then in 1992 moving to a new, modern, bigger factory at Enstone.

Drivers

Benetton drivers (in order of appearance):

Racing record

(Bold indicates championships won.)

Year Name Car Engine Tyres No. Drivers Points WCC
1986 United Kingdom Benetton Formula B186 BMW M12/13 L4t P 19.
20.
Italy Teo Fabi
Austria Gerhard Berger
19 6th
1987 United Kingdom Benetton Formula B187 Ford-Cosworth GBA 1.5 V6t G 19.
20.
Italy Teo Fabi
Belgium Thierry Boutsen
28 5th
1988 United Kingdom Benetton Formula B188 Ford-Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 G 19.
20.
Italy Alessandro Nannini
Belgium Thierry Boutsen
39 3rd
1989 United Kingdom Benetton Formula B188
B189
Ford-Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8
Ford HBA1 3.5 V8
Ford HBA4 3.5 V8
G 19.
20.
20.
Italy Alessandro Nannini
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
Italy Emanuele Pirro
39 4th
1990 United Kingdom Benetton Formula B189B
B190
Ford HBA4 3.5 V8 G 19.
19.
20.
Italy Alessandro Nannini
Brazil Roberto Moreno
Brazil Nelson Piquet
71 3rd
1991 United Kingdom Camel Benetton Ford B190B
B191
Ford HBA4 3.5 V8
Ford HBA5 3.5 V8
P 19.
19.
20.
Brazil Roberto Moreno
Germany Michael Schumacher
Brazil Nelson Piquet
38.5 4th
1992 United Kingdom Camel Benetton Ford B191B
B192
Ford HBA5 3.5 V8
Ford HBA7 3.5 V8
G 19.
20.
Germany Michael Schumacher
United Kingdom Martin Brundle
91 3rd
1993 United Kingdom Camel Benetton Ford B193
B193B
Ford HBA7 3.5 V8
Ford HBA8 3.5 V8
G 5.
6.
Germany Michael Schumacher
Italy Riccardo Patrese
72 3rd
1994 United Kingdom Mild Seven Benetton Ford B194 Ford ECA Zetec-R 3.5 V8 G 5.
5./6.
6.
6.
Germany Michael Schumacher
Finland JJ Lehto
Netherlands Jos Verstappen
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
103 2nd
1995 United Kingdom Mild Seven Benetton Renault B195 Renault RS7 3.0 V10 G 1.
2.
Germany Michael Schumacher
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
137 1st
1996 Italy Mild Seven Benetton Renault B196 Renault RS8 3.0 V10 G 3.
4.
France Jean Alesi
Austria Gerhard Berger
68 3rd
1997 Italy Mild Seven Benetton Renault B197 Renault RS9 3.0 V10 G 7.
8.
8.
France Jean Alesi
Austria Gerhard Berger
Austria Alexander Wurz
67 3rd
1998 Italy Mild Seven Benetton Playlife B198 Playlife GC37-01 3.0 V10 B 5.
6.
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Austria Alexander Wurz
33 5th
1999 Italy Mild Seven Benetton Playlife B199 Playlife FB01 3.0 V10 B 9.
10.
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Austria Alexander Wurz
16 6th
2000 Italy Mild Seven Benetton Playlife B200 Playlife FB02 3.0 V10 B 11.
12.
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Austria Alexander Wurz
20 4th
2001 Italy Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport B201 Renault RS21 3.0 V10 M 7.
8.
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
United Kingdom Jenson Button
10 7th

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Extra 10 points are Michael Schumacher's points from 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix which were not counted towards 1995 World Constructors' Championship.
  2. ^ Osborne, Alistair (2011-12-17). "The Sunday Interview: Alessandro Benetton". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  3. ^ "Benetton Heir Alessandro Goes It Alone With Private Equity Firm". Bloomberg.com. 2016-04-06. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  4. ^ Reuters (4 February 2001). "Seven-year ban on traction control likely over". www.ESPN.com. Retrieved 24 October 2006.
  5. ^ Hayhoe, David; Holland, David (2006). Grand Prix Data Book (4th ed.). Yeovil: Haynes Publishing. p. 592. ISBN 1-84425-223-X. The combination of Schumacher and intelligent team strategy paid off with both titles in 1995, although they seemed to miss their superstar the following season when the team officially changed their nationality to Italian
  6. ^ "New Benetton launched today". GrandPrix.com. 5 February 1996. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
  7. ^ "Will Benetton's nationalism cause problems?". GrandPrix.com. 1 January 1996. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
  8. ^ "Benetton to race under Italian colours". New Straits Times. 29 November 1995. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  9. ^ "JOS VERSTAPPEN-HOCKENHEIM 1994". F1 Focus. Retrieved 4 February 2014.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Williams
Formula One Constructors' Champion
1995
Succeeded by
Williams
This page was last edited on 17 February 2019, at 09:48
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