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Benetton
Benetton Logo
Full Name Benetton Formula Ltd.
Base Witney, Enstone, United Kingdom
Formula One World Championship
Years Active 1986-2001
Debut 1986 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races Competed 260
Constructors' Championships 1 (1995)
Drivers' Championships 2 (Michael Schumacher)
Wins 27
Poles 15
Fastest Laps 16
Final race 2001 Japanese Grand Prix

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 2001 season. In 2002 the team became Renault F1.

OriginsEdit

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.

Racing History: Formula OneEdit

1980'sEdit

1986Edit

The new team was officially launched in February 1986. Peter Collins was hired from Williams to run the operation and a deal was struck for engines with BMW. Teo Fabi was joined by Gerhard Berger and it was the Austrian who scored the team's first win in Mexico in October that year, having outfoxed the opposition with a clever Pirelli tire strategy. The team finished sixth in the Constructors' Championship.

1987 - 1989Edit

Berger signed to join Ferrari and Benetton hired Thierry Boutsen to be Fabi's teammate, while a new alliance began with Ford. Boutsen and Fabi failed to win a race but the team finished fifth in the Constructors' Championship. The following year Fabi was dropped and Alessandro Nannini joined Boutsen. Although the team scored only 39 points it finished third in the Constructors' Championship and Boutsen was lured away to Williams.

Benetton1989

Nannini at the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix

That winter the Benetton Family appointed Flavio Briatore as Commercial Director and he quickly fell out with the existing management. Collins was a great believer in Johnny Herbert and hired the young English driver for 1989. Herbert hurt his legs badly in a Formula 3000 accident just after he signed the Benetton deal but Collins stood by it. Johnny was not, however, ready to return and, after a brilliant debut in Brazil, where he finished fourth, he struggled with his injuries. Collins stood by him but Briatore won the dispute. Herbert was dropped and Collins departed soon afterwards. At the end of the year Nannini was credited with victory at the Japanese GP after the Senna-Prost collision, but the result came only after Senna was disqualified.

1990'sEdit

1990 - 1991Edit

With Bernie Ecclestone's help Briatore hired Nelson Piquet to be Nannini's partner in 1990 and John Barnard was hired to be technical director. Many of the old technical team departed. Joan Villadelprat was drafted in from Tyrrell and a new team began to form. The team was not very competitive and disaster struck at the end of the year when Nannini was seriously injured in a helicopter crash. At the next race in Japan Piquet was partnered by Roberto Moreno and the pair finished 1-2 in a fairytale finish. Piquet followed up with another win at the Australian GP.

Much was expected in 1991 but despite a clever win from Piquet in Canada, Briatore and Barnard fell out and Barnard departed. At midseason Tom Walkinshaw became a Benetton shareholder. Initially Barnard's deputy Gordon Kimball was appointed technical director but he was soon ousted by Walkinshaw's nominee Ross Brawn, while designers Rory Byrne and Pat Symonds returned after a brief spell working on an abortive Reynard F1 project. Walkinshaw was quick to shake up the team and after German youngster Michael Schumacher impressed at the wheel of a Jordan on his GP debut at Spa, he was snapped up by Benetton - and Moreno was shown the door.

1992 - 1995Edit

The 1992 season saw Schumacher teamed up with Walkinshaw favorite Martin Brundle. Schumacher became more and more competitive in the B192 and he won his first race that year at Spa. The following year was more of a struggle though he won in Portugal, but in 1994, armed with the Benetton B194, he was dominant in the early races and after Ayrton Senna's death seemed to have no rival for the World Championship. There were strong suggestions that Benetton was using illegal electronic systems and this
Damon-hill-and-michael-schumacher-adelaide-1994-by-jo-salmon

Hill and Schumacher make contact in Adelaide

created enormous controversy. There was further trouble when Schumacher's team mate Jos Verstappen was involved in a refuelling fire and it was found that the team had tampered with the refuelling equipment. The World Championship ended with Schumacher ramming Damon Hill off the track in Adelaide.

The team escaped any obvious punishment but a deal was struck in which Walkinshaw was transferred to run the Ligier team - which Briatore had bought at the start of 1994. This left Villadelprat running the team and with Briatore having got hold of Ligier's Renault engines for the 1995 season, the Schumacher-Benetton-Renault combination was too strong for the opposition. Schumacher kept his championship crown with he and Johnny Herbert scoring 11 wins between them. At the end of the year, however, Schumacher signed for Ferrari and Benetton signed up Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger.

1996 - 1997Edit

Without Schumacher the team struggled and at the end of 1996 - after no wins - Brawn and Byrne departed to work with Schumacher at Ferrari. Pat Symonds became technical director with Nick Wirth named chief designer. The 1997 season was another disappointment, although Berger won in Germany. He then announced that he was retiring from the sport and, with Alesi deciding to join Sauber, Benetton hired youngsters Giancarlo Fisichella and Alex Wurz.

The lack of success in 1997 resulted in Briatore being ousted at the end of the year and David Richards was brought in as managing-director. He argued that Benetton should do a deal with the Ford Motor Company but the Benetton Family did not agree and so Richards departed in October 1998, leaving the team in the hands of 29-year-old Rocco Benetton, who had no experience of motor racing when he had been appointed Commercial Director of the team in September 1997.

1998 - 2001Edit

The team had won nothing in 1998 or 99. At the end of the year there was a major technical reshuffle but it made little difference and at the start of 2000
Button 2001

Button at the 2001 French Grand Prix

Benetton announced that it had sold the team to Renault, which decided to put Flavio Briatore back in charge. The 2000 season was a disappointment but the team was again restructured with Mike Gascoyne coming in as technical director and Jenson Button being hired to partner Fisichella. Renault produced a new wide-angle V10 for the 2001 season but the team went into the year expecting reliability problems. In 2002 The team became known as Renault Sport.

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1986 Benetton B186 BMW L4 (t/c) P BRA ESP SMR MON BEL CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR MEX AUS 19 6th
Teo Fabi 10 5 Ret Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 10
Gerhard Berger 6 6 3 Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 Ret 7 5 Ret 1 Ret
1987 Benetton B187 Ford V6 (t/c) G BRA SMR BEL MON DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR ESP MEX JPN AUS 28 5th
Teo Fabi Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 5 6 Ret Ret 3 7 4 Ret 5 Ret Ret
Thierry Boutsen 5 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 7 Ret 4 4 5 14 Ret Ret 5 3
1988 Benetton B188 Ford V8 G BRA SMR MON MEX CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 39 3rd
Alessandro Nannini Ret 6 Ret 7 Ret Ret 6 3 18 Ret DSQ 9 Ret 3 5 Ret
Thierry Boutsen 7 4 8 8 3 3 Ret Ret 6 3 DSQ 6 3 9 3 5
1989 Benetton B188
Benetton B189
Ford V8 G BRA SMR MON MEX USA CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 39 4th
Alessandro Nannini 6 3 8 4 Ret DSQ Ret 3 Ret Ret 5 Ret 4 Ret 1 2
Johnny Herbert 4 11 14 15 5 DNQ
Emanuele Pirro 9 11 Ret 8 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret 5
1990 Benetton B189B
Benetton B190
Ford V8 G USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 71 3rd
Alessandro Nannini 11 10 3 Ret Ret 4 16 Ret 2 Ret 4 8 6 3
Roberto Moreno 2 7
Nelson Piquet 4 6 5 DSQ 2 6 4 5 Ret 3 5 7 5 Ret 1 1
1991 Benetton B190B
Benetton B191
Ford V8 P USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 38.5 4th
Roberto Moreno Ret 7 13 4 Ret 5 Ret Ret 8 8 4
Michael Schumacher 5 6 6 Ret Ret
Nelson Piquet 3 5 Ret Ret 1 Ret 8 5 Ret Ret 3 6 5 11 7 4
1992 Benetton B191B
Benetton B192
Ford V8 G RSA MEX BRA ESP SMR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 91 3rd
Michael Schumacher 4 3 3 2 Ret 4 2 Ret 4 3 Ret 1 3 7 Ret 2
Martin Brundle Ret Ret Ret Ret 4 5 Ret 3 3 4 5 4 2 4 3 3
1993 Benetton B193
Benetton B193B
Ford V8 G RSA BRA EUR SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 72 3rd
Michael Schumacher Ret 3 Ret 2 3 Ret 2 3 2 2 Ret 2 Ret 1 Ret Ret
Riccardo Patrese Ret Ret 5 Ret 4 Ret Ret 10 3 5 2 6 5 16 Ret 8
1994 Benetton B194 Ford V8 G BRA PAC SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR JPN AUS 103 2nd
Michael Schumacher 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 DSQ Ret 1 DSQ EX EX 1 2 Ret
JJ Lehto Ret 7 Ret 6 9 Ret
Jos Verstappen Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 3 3 Ret 5 Ret
Johnny Herbert Ret Ret
1995 Benetton B195 Renault V10 G BRA ARG SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR PAC JPN AUS 137 1st
Michael Schumacher 1 3 Ret 1 1 5 1 Ret 1 11 1 Ret 2 1 1 1 Ret
Johnny Herbert Ret 4 7 2 4 Ret Ret 1 4 4 7 1 7 5 6 3 Ret
1996 Benetton B196 Renault V10 G AUS BRA ARG EUR SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN 68 3rd
Jean Alesi Ret 2 3 Ret 6 Ret 2 3 3 Ret 2 3 4 2 4 Ret
Gerhard Berger 4 Ret Ret 9 3 Ret Ret Ret 4 2 13 Ret 6 Ret 6 4
1997 Benetton B197 Renault V10 G AUS BRA ARG SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA AUT LUX JPN EUR 67 3rd
Jean Alesi Ret 6 7 5 Ret 3 2 5 2 6 11 8 2 Ret 2 5 13
Gerhard Berger 4 2 6 Ret 9 10 1 8 6 7 10 4 8 4
Alexander Wurz Ret Ret 3
1998 Benetton B198 Playlife V10 B AUS BRA ARG SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR AUT GER HUN BEL ITA LUX JPN 33 5th
Giancarlo Fisichella Ret 6 7 Ret Ret 2 2 9 5 Ret 7 8 Ret 8 6 8
Alexander Wurz 7 4 4 Ret 4 Ret 4 5 4 9 11 16 Ret Ret 7 9
1999 Benetton B199 Playlife V10 B AUS BRA SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR AUT GER HUN BEL ITA EUR MAL JPN 16 6th
Giancarlo Fisichella 4 Ret 5 5 9 2 Ret 7 12 Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret 11 14
Alexander Wurz Ret 7 Ret 6 10 Ret Ret 10 5 7 7 14 Ret Ret 8 10
2000 Benetton B200 Playlife V10 B AUS BRA SMR GBR ESP EUR MON CAN FRA AUT GER HUN BEL ITA USA JPN MAL 20 4th
Giancarlo Fisichella 5 2 11 7 9 5 3 3 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret 14 9
Alexander Wurz 7 Ret 9 9 10 12 Ret 9 Ret 10 Ret 11 13 5 10 Ret 7
2001 Benetton B201 Renault V10 M AUS MAL BRA SMR ESP AUT MON CAN EUR FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA USA JPN 10 7th
Giancarlo Fisichella 13 Ret 6 Ret 14 Ret Ret Ret 11 11 13 4 Ret 3 10 8 17
Jenson Button 14 11 10 12 15 Ret 7 Ret 13 16 15 5 Ret Ret Ret 9 7

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