Italian GP Benetton race notes

The Mild Seven Benetton team had a frustrating Italian Grand Prix result on Sunday, after mechanical problems meant one of the team's cars had to take the start from the pits. While Giancarlo Fisichella's B201 was being prepared on the grid, the...

The Mild Seven Benetton team had a frustrating Italian Grand Prix result on Sunday, after mechanical problems meant one of the team's cars had to take the start from the pits. While Giancarlo Fisichella's B201 was being prepared on the grid, the team discovered it had a leaking fuel filler and as a result, the Italian had to start from the pitlane in the T-car, which had been set up for Jenson Button.

He took the start immediately behind Sauber's Nick Heidfeld, who had also been consigned to the pits, and put in a strong drive to come home 10th, with a race time of 1hr17m25.368s, completing 52 laps.

His team-mate Jenson Button retired after five laps with a blown engine.

Afterwards, Fisichella explained his afternoon, saying: "The target today was to score some points, which was a realistic goal as our car has been strong all weekend, but after one lap, I had problems because my traction control did not work.

"As a result, my tyres were going off more quickly than usual, but I did my best in the circumstances. Of course I am disappointed with today's outcome, but the progress we have made recently puts me in an optimistic frame of mind for the next event."

Meanwhile Button said afterwards that he could not have avoided the first-chicane accident which put Jordan's Jarno Trulli out of the race.

"This weekend started so well and I was prepared for a good race. I made a great start, but at the first corner I think I had strayed too far to the inside, where it was quite dirty and oily - perhaps from the Porsche race earlier on today. I braked at the same time as everyone else, but I couldn't stop in time to avoid Trulli.

"I ran into him, lost my front wing and put him out of the race, for which I was very sorry," he added. "The team did a great job to fit a replacement nose in the pits, but unfortunately my engine blew on the fifth lap."

Technical Director Mike Gascoyne added his thoughts on the team's afternoon, saying:

"Jenson made a storming start and was up to sixth by the first corner, but unfortunately he came together with Trulli and an engine failure then put him out.

"Giancarlo, who started from the pit lane, drove a very strong race even though a system failure deprived him of traction control, and kept a good pace throughout the race, but we were never going to achieve very much starting from the back.

"It is of course very frustrating, but we are still improving and, as usual, are looking to improve our competitiveness."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Nick Heidfeld , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Sauber , Benetton , Jordan