Benetton Formula

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]

Benetton
Benetton Formula logo
Full nameBenetton Formula Ltd.
BaseWitney, United Kingdom
(1986–1991)
Enstone, United Kingdom
(1992–2001)
Noted staffFlavio Briatore
Rocco Benetton
Ross Brawn
Mike Gascoyne
Nigel Stepney
Pat Symonds
Steve Matchett
David Richards
Peter Collins
Rory Byrne
Nicholas Tombazis
Pat Fry
Nick Wirth
John Barnard
Greg Field
Noted driversItaly Teo Fabi
Austria Gerhard Berger
Belgium Thierry Boutsen
Italy Alessandro Nannini
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
Italy Emanuele Pirro
Brazil Nelson Piquet
Brazil Roberto Moreno
Germany Michael Schumacher
United Kingdom Martin Brundle
Italy Riccardo Patrese
France Jean Alesi
Austria Alexander Wurz
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
United Kingdom Jenson Button
Netherlands Jos Verstappen
Previous nameToleman Motorsport
Next nameRenault F1 Team
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1986 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races entered260
Constructors'
Championships
1 (1995)
Drivers'
Championships
2 (1994, 1995)
Race victories27
Points851.5 (861.5)[1]
Pole positions15
Fastest laps36
Final entry2001 Japanese Grand Prix

History

Thierry Boutsen 1988 Canada 2
Thierry Boutsen driving for Benetton at the 1988 Canadian Grand Prix.
Giancarlo Fisichella 1999 Canada
Giancarlo Fisichella driving for Benetton at the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix.
Button 2001
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 which were rebadged Renault engines.

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.

Nationality

Michael Schumacher 1995 Britain 2
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):

  • Gerhard Berger – joined the team from Arrows for its first season in 1986. Scored the team's first and last wins, at the 1986 Mexican Grand Prix and 1997 German Grand Prix. He also scored the team's first podium finish at the 1986 San Marino Grand Prix. Berger also ended his Formula One career with Benetton in 1997. Recorded the fastest ever speed trap time by a turbocharged F1 car when he pushed his BMW powered Benetton B186 to 352.22 km/h (219 mph) during qualifying for the 1986 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Drove for both Ferrari and McLaren between stints at Benetton. He is also the only driver to win a race for Benetton while the team was racing as an Italian team.
  • Teo Fabi – a driver when the team was known as Toleman in 1985. Scored the team's first pole position at the 1986 Austrian Grand Prix (and also scored Toleman's only pole at the 1985 German Grand Prix). He scored the team's first back to back pole positions when he scored pole at the very next race in Italy. Fabi ended his Formula One career with Benetton after the 1987 Australian Grand Prix.
  • Thierry Boutsen – drove for the team in 1987 and 1988. He finished 4th in the Drivers' Championship in 1988 with five 3rd-place finishes. He was also the highest placed "atmo" driver at the end of the season. Left Benetton after 1988 to join Williams where he would score his three career wins.
  • Alessandro Nannini – started with the team in 1988 after two seasons with Minardi and scored two third-place finishes at the British and Spanish Grands Prix, as well as recording the fastest lap in the wet German Grand Prix. Scored his only F1 race win at the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix after Ayrton Senna's McLaren was disqualified. It was the team's second ever win and the first since 1986. Nannini unfortunately ended his Formula One career with Benetton in 1990 after he lost his right forearm in a helicopter accident one week after the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix where he finished third (his forearm was successfully re-attached by Micro-surgery and Nannini has since regained partial use of his right hand).
  • Johnny Herbert – signed to the team in 1988 while still in hospital recovering from his horrifying Formula 3000 crash and started his F1 career with the team in 1989, finishing only 1.123 seconds from a podium finish in his first race in Brazil, though he was replaced mid-season after it became clear that his injuries still needed mending. Returned to Benetton in 1994 and scored two of his three Formula One victories with the team at the 1995 British Grand Prix and the 1995 Italian Grand Prix.
  • Emanuele Pirro – when Herbert was replaced in mid-1989, it was Italian Touring car driver and McLaren test driver Pirro who replaced him for the remainder of the season. Had to be given permission by McLaren to race for the team and made his F1 debut with Benetton at the 1989 French Grand Prix. Despite high praise as a test driver, only scored 2 points in the final race of the year in Australia and was not retained by the team for 1990. Drove two more seasons in F1 for BMS Scuderia Italia before embarking on a highly successful Sports car career and where he would have 5 outright wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Audi.
  • Nelson Piquet – first (ex-)Formula One World Champion to drive for the team, joining after two unsuccessful seasons with Lotus. Led the team's first 1-2 finish at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. Followed up to win the next race in Australia which was also the 500th World Championship Grand Prix held since 1950. Had his 23rd and last F1 race win while driving for Benetton in the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix. Piquet ended his Formula One career with Benetton in 1991 with a 4th-place finish in the rain shortened Australian Grand Prix.
  • Roberto Moreno – former Ferrari test driver and International Formula 3000 champion, started with Benetton in 1990 following Nannini's career ending helicopter crash and finished second behind Piquet in Japan. Retained for the 1991 season and set the fastest lap in his last race for the team in the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix before being unceremoniously dumped in favour of young German Michael Schumacher.
  • Michael Schumacher – after making his F1 debut with Jordan at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, took Moreno's seat with Benetton at the next race in Italy. Scored his first Grand Prix victory at the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix and would win Drivers' World Championship titles in the 1994 and 1995 seasons for the team as well as helping the team win its first Constructors' Championship in 1995 before moving to Ferrari in 1996. Schumacher would go on to win a further 5 World Championships with Ferrari. Holds the record for the most wins in a Benetton with 19.
  • Martin Brundle – former Tyrrell and Zakspeed and Brabham driver, the 1988 World Sportscar Champion and 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, only raced for Benetton in 1992. Had his best season in Formula One finishing 6th in the Drivers' Championship with 38 points and 5 podium finishes.
  • Riccardo Patrese – joined Benetton from Williams for one season in 1993 as Formula One's most experienced driver. Scored his 37th and final podium finish with the team by finishing second in the Hungarian Grand Prix (the race was the first win for the man who replaced him at Williams, Damon Hill). Had his record 256th and last Grand Prix start with the team at the 1993 Australian Grand Prix.
  • Jos Verstappen – perhaps most famous after his Benetton burst into flames during a pit stop at the 1994 German Grand Prix.[9] The resulting fire (causing minor burns to Verstappen's face) led to advances in pit stop safety.
  • JJ Lehto – talented Finnish driver and former protégé of 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg, Lehto drove 4 races for Benetton. Was to be the No. 2 driver with Schumacher in 1994 but a pre-season test crash which resulted in a broken vertebra limited his appearances with the team. Replaced by Verstappen for the opening 2 rounds of the season before making his belated start with Benetton in the ill-fated 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Was again replaced by Verstappen after four races when it was decided more rest was needed. Had his last two races for the team later in 1994 as a replacement for the suspended Schumacher.
  • Jean Alesi – former Tyrrell and Ferrari driver, finished 4th in the Drivers' Championship in both 1996 and 1997 with Benetton. Scoring 14 podiums in 33 races for the team.
  • Alexander Wurz – Austrian driver who got his start in Formula One with Benetton in 1997 as a replacement for countryman Gerhard Berger who was unavailable due to illness. Finished a fine 3rd in the 1997 British Grand Prix at Silverstone before Berger made his return. When Berger retired from driving at the end of the 1997 season, Wurz was signed as his replacement and would drive 3 seasons for the team, though he was unable to replicate his British GP result.
  • Giancarlo Fisichella – scored the team's last pole position at the 1998 Austrian Grand Prix and last podium finish at the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix.
  • Jenson Button – joined Benetton from Williams and raced for the team in its final season in 2001, finishing in 17th place in the Drivers' Championship. He would win the 2009 Drivers' World Championship title with Brawn GP.

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 (17 December 2011). "The Sunday Interview: Alessandro Benetton". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Benetton Heir Alessandro Goes It Alone With Private Equity Firm". Bloomberg.com. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  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
1996 German Formula Three Championship

The 1996 German Formula Three Championship (German: 1996 Deutsche Formel-3-Meisterschaft) was the 22nd edition of the German Formula Three Championship. It commenced on 14 April 1996 and ended on 13 October. Italian driver Jarno Trulli won the title with six wins for the Swiss Opel Team KMS Benetton Formula.

Alessandro Nannini

Alessandro "Sandro" Nannini (born 7 July 1959) is a former racing driver from Italy. He is the younger brother of rock-singer Gianna Nannini. His five-year F1 career resulted in a win but ended after a 1990 helicopter crash severed his right forearm.

Benetton B187

The Benetton B187 was a Formula One racing car designed by Rory Byrne and raced by Benetton team in the 1987 Formula One season. The B187 replaced the B186 used in the 1986 season.

In 1987 Benetton effectively became the Ford works team in F1 as they had exclusive use of the turbocharged Ford TEC V6 engine for 1987, rated at approximately 900 bhp (671 kW; 912 PS). Driven by Belgian Thierry Boutsen and Italian Teo Fabi, the team and the B187 got off to a good start with Boutsen finishing 5th at the season opening Brazilian Grand Prix, but after that the high boost the team ran in order to keep up with their competition saw the reliability of the TEC engine become suspect. However, by running less turbo boost (which hampered speed but also saw the reliability woes go down), by mid-season both Fabi and Boutsen were regularly challenging the top 4 teams of McLaren, Williams, Lotus and Ferrari for podium finishes. Boutsen led the Mexican Grand Prix (the race the team had won in 1986) before being forced to retire.

Boutsen finished the season in 8th place with 16 points while Fabi, in his last year in F1, was 9th with 12 points scored. Overall with the B187, Benetton finished 5th in the constructors championship with 28 points. For Benetton this was a 9-point and 1 place improvement on the 1986 season, although unlike 1986, the team did not win a race in 1987.

The B187 was the last of the turbo cars produced by Benetton (dating back to when Toleman produced its first car, the TG181 in 1981) and was replaced in 1988 by the Naturally aspirated, Ford DFR, V8 powered B188. The B188 would the first car constructed by the team, either as Toleman or Benetton, that would not be powered by a turbocharged engine.

The B187 was driven by Jackie Stewart in 1989 as part of a show where he drove a number of race cars, including several Formula One machines, and declared it to be one of the better cars he drove. The B187 was the last F1 car driven by Teo Fabi, the Italian being pushed out of the team for 1988 with the signing of fellow Italian Alessandro Nannini. With no offers for a drive in 1988, Fabi's last race for the team was the Australian Grand Prix. It was at this race that a disgruntled Fabi deliberately held up Boutsen from lapping him for several laps despite repeated pit board signs and radio messages to let his team mate past.

Benetton B188

The Benetton B188 was a Formula One racing car designed by Rory Byrne and raced by Benetton team in the 1988 Formula One season and in the first half of the 1989 Formula One season. Dating back to when the team started as Toleman in 1981, the B188 was the first car produced by the team not to be powered by a turbocharged engine.

Benetton B189

The Benetton B189 was a Formula One racing car designed by Rory Byrne and raced by the Benetton team in the 1989 Formula One season. The car replaced the B188 that had been in use from the 1988 season.

Benetton B190

The Benetton B190 is a Formula One racing car designed by Rory Byrne in collaboration with Benetton's Technical Director, John Barnard, a designer with experience at racing companies McLaren and Ferrari and arguably the most successful Formula One designer of the 1980s with his cars winning 31 races since 1981 (Barnard also enjoyed success designing the ground effects Chaparral 2K that won the 1980 Indianapolis 500). The B190 was raced by Benetton in the 1990 Formula One season.

Benetton B191

The Benetton B191 was a Formula One racing car with which the Benetton team competed in the 1991 Formula One season and at the beginning of 1992. Designed by John Barnard and Mike Coughlan, the car made its debut at the 1991 San Marino Grand Prix, driven by three-time World Drivers' Champion Nelson Piquet and Roberto Moreno. The B191 was powered by the Ford HBA5 V8 engine in an exclusive deal with Ford, and ran on Pirelli tyres. Following the Belgian Grand Prix the team replaced Moreno with German newcomer Michael Schumacher.

Benetton B192

The Benetton B192 was a Formula One racing car designed by Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne and raced by the Benetton team in the 1992 Formula One season.

The car had a delayed start in 1992 being debuted at the Spanish Grand Prix while the team made do with an upgraded version of their 1991 challenger for the opening three rounds.

Benetton B193

The Benetton B193 was a Formula One racing car designed by Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne, and raced by Benetton team in the 1993 Formula One season. It was powered by the latest Cosworth HBA engine in an initially-exclusive deal with Ford, and ran on Goodyear tyres.

Benetton B196

The Benetton B196 was the car with which the Benetton team competed in the 1996 Formula One season. It was driven by the experienced pairing of Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, who both moved from Ferrari to replace departing 1994 and 1995 champion Michael Schumacher and his number two, Johnny Herbert.

Many thought, Benetton and Alesi included, that this could well be the Frenchman's year to seriously challenge for the title - something many had been predicting he would do since he signed for Ferrari in 1991. However, after achieving the double of Drivers' and Constructors' Championships in 1995, the 1996 season saw the team slip slightly from its position of eminence. A direct development of the B195, the new drivers found the B196 difficult to drive, as it had been designed with Schumacher's unusual driving style in mind, but managed to score a series of points and podium finishes. The biggest disappointment was not winning a race for the first time since 1988, although Berger was extremely unlucky to lose the German GP when his engine failed with three laps to go. Alesi was also leading the Monaco Grand Prix when he had to retire due to mechanical failure.

The team lost second place in the Constructors' Championship at the final Grand Prix of the season, at which both drivers made mistakes. This allowed Ferrari to take the advantage.

This was the first Benetton car to race under Italian nationality.

This car is also the second and last F1 car that Alessandro Nannini test-drove, after his helicopter crash injuries 7 years prior, which ended his F1 career.

Benetton B197

The Benetton B197 was the car with which the Benetton Formula One team competed in the 1997 Formula One season. It was driven by Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, who were both in their second season with the team. However, Berger was forced to sit out three races in the middle of the season due to sinus problems, and compatriot Alexander Wurz made his F1 début by deputising for him, starting at the 1997 Canadian Grand Prix.

The car was a direct development of the B196, from which both drivers had found difficult to extract maximum performance in 1996. The B197 proved competitive at nearly every race, but only scored one win when Berger made his faultless return to the cockpit at Hockenheim. The main problem with the car was its inability to bring its tyres up to temperature on low-grip circuits, particularly in qualifying. However, Berger and Alesi did secure one pole position each during the course of the season. By the end of the season, it was clear that Benetton would adopt a new driver line-up for 1998, with Berger retiring and Alesi moving to Sauber.

The team eventually finished third in the Constructors' Championship, with 67 points. The Benetton B197 can still be seen competing in the EuroBoss series.

Benetton B198

The Benetton B198 was the car with which the Benetton Formula One team competed in the 1998 Formula One season. It was driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, who had moved from Jordan, and Alexander Wurz, who was in his first full season of F1 after deputising for the unwell Gerhard Berger in 1997.

After an encouraging start which saw Fisichella finish second at two successive races and take pole in Austria, the team sat a comfortable third place in the Constructors' Championship. However, the season petered out towards the end, with Benetton ultimately finishing the season in fifth place. The team partially blamed Bridgestone for favouring eventual champions McLaren, who were the tyre supplier's top team at that time.

Benetton B199

The Benetton B199 was the car with which the Benetton Formula One team competed in the 1999 Formula One season. It was driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz, who were both in their second full seasons with the team.

The B199 contained some sophisticated parts, such as a front-torque transfer system and a twin-clutch gearbox, but these proved troublesome. Furthermore, any performance advantage was negated by the corresponding weight gain and aerodynamic ineffiencies which resulted in a chronic lack of grip.

The team eventually took sixth place in the Constructors' Championship, but this was a major disappointment considering the much better position of the team over the last few seasons.

Benetton used 'Mild Seven' logos, except at the French, British and Belgian Grands Prix.

Benetton B200

The Benetton B200 was the car with which the Benetton Formula One team competed in the 2000 Formula One season. It was driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz, who was dropped by the team at the end of the year after two consecutive poor seasons.

The team finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship, tied with British American Racing on 20 points, but placed ahead due to Fisichella's three podium finishes.

Early in the season, it was announced that the team had been sold to Renault, who would return as a works engine supplier in 2001 and rebrand the team completely for 2002.

Benetton B201

The Benetton B201 was the car with which the Benetton team competed in the 2001 Formula One season. It was driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, who was in his fourth year with the team, and Jenson Button, who moved from Williams after an impressive début season in 2000.

For the Benetton team, 2001 marked the end of an era. The team, which had existed since 1986, had been sold to engine suppliers Renault in 2000, and 2002 would mark the complete takeover of the team. However, Renault's return to F1 in 2001 as an engine supplier after a three-year hiatus proved extremely troublesome for most of the year.

The car's main problem was the unusual wide-angled (111°) engine configuration. Although this offered potential aerodynamic advantages as it sat lower in the chassis, the initial form of the engine proved to lack horsepower and reliability. The first half of the season was a disaster as the cars often struggled to qualify in the top twenty, and could only battle Minardi at the tail of the field. However, Fisichella managed to salvage a point at Interlagos.

From mid-season, the car steadily improved, with revised aerodynamics and an effective launch and traction control system that was implemented during the course of the season. A rather fortituitous double-points finish at Hockenheim was followed by an outstanding display from Fisichella to take third place at Spa. Thereafter, the car was a consistent challenger for points, even if Button was outperformed by his team-mate all season.

The team eventually finished seventh in the Constructors' Championship, with 10 points.

Johnny Herbert

John Paul "Johnny" Herbert (born 25 June 1964) is a retired British racing driver and television announcer. He raced in Formula One from 1989 to 2000, for 7 different teams, winning three races and placed 4th in the 1995 championship. He also raced sports cars winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1991 driving a Mazda 787B. He enjoyed much success in lower-level motor racing.

Nicholas Tombazis

Nicholas Tombazis (Greek: Νικόλαος Τομπάζης; born April 22, 1968 in Athens, Greece) is a racing car designer who has worked in Formula One since 1992, for the Benetton, McLaren and Ferrari teams.

Tombazis graduated with a degree in engineering in 1989 at the Trinity College in Cambridge, followed by a PhD in aeronautical engineering at the Imperial College London in 1992.

In November 1992 he became aerodynamicist at the Benetton Formula 1 team and was promoted to Head of Aerodynamics in 1994.

Three years later he moved to the Scuderia Ferrari, where, in 1998, he became Head of Aerodynamics and CFD.

In 2004 he went back to England, to work with McLaren, where he started working in a similar position and being promoted to Head of Planning.

In March 2006 he was back at Ferrari, this time as Chief Designer. He left Ferrari on 16 December 2014.On 15 January 2016, the Manor Formula 1 team appointed Tombazis as its chief aerodynamicist.Following the closure of Manor he set up his own consultancy, called MAA, and has been a visiting professor of aerodynamics for Imperial College London.

On 6 March 2018 it was announced that Tombazis has joined the FIA to become its 'head of single-seater technical matters'.

Rocco Benetton

Rocco Benetton (born September 29, 1969) is the former chief executive of the Benetton Formula One team.

Thierry Boutsen

Thierry Marc Boutsen (born 13 July 1957) is a Belgian former racing driver who raced for the Arrows, Benetton, Williams, Ligier and Jordan teams in Formula One. He competed in 164 World Championship Grands Prix (163 starts), winning three races, achieving 15 podiums and scoring 132 career points. His best finish in the World Drivers' Championship was fourth in 1988 whilst driving for Benetton. He also twice finished second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans sportscar race (in 1993 in a Peugeot 905 and in 1996 in a Porsche 911 GT1).

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