Spanish GP Benetton race notes

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had an encouraging Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, after both cars ran reliably all weekend and both drivers finished the race. Giancarlo Fisichella ran for 62 laps and came home in 14th place with a race...

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had an encouraging Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, after both cars ran reliably all weekend and both drivers finished the race. Giancarlo Fisichella ran for 62 laps and came home in 14th place with a race time of 1hr32m22s, while his team-mate Jenson Button finished just behind him in 15th place after completing 62 laps in 1hr31m35s.

The team's Technical Director Mike Gascoyne explained the team's day in Barcelona, saying:

"We said that at this stage of the year it was important to have reliability and race finishes. Treating this race as a test session, we would like to have done slightly more laps than we managed, but one very positive note is that we had perfect engine reliability for the whole weekend, which is a very significant step forward.

"In general, our race performance has been better than our qualifying performance this season, but that certainly wasn't the case today," he continued, explaining the importance of tyre-choice.

"We struggled to get the tyres to work in the race and on reflection we choice the wrong tyre, as for the hard tyre, the cool conditions on race day didn't suit."

And he explained that both drivers were troubled by outside influences during the race, saying:

"Both drivers were also delayed. Giancarlo was caught up in an accident at the first corner, which affected his car's handling all-race and we had to change his nose during the first pit stop. Meanwhile Jenson had what we think was a puncture just before he came in for his scheduled tyre stop, and that cost him a lot of time."

And looking ahead to the rest of the season, he added: "We have new engine developments coming mid-season and the chassis is evolving continually so we have to be patient and wait for these improvements. Added to that, we now have to work very hard on development to ensure we are competitive when we get the engine improvements that are coming."

Giancarlo Fisichella explained his race, saying:

"I was involved in a brush with another car at the first corner which damaged my front wing, although the balance wasn't too bad so I didn't have it changed until my first scheduled stop.

"We must keep doing our best and develop the car as much as we can while waiting for the new improvements that we know are coming."

Jenson Button was also upbeat and added:

"What can I say? I know I am repeating myself, but we just have to hang in there and be patient - even though the only thing we want to do is to win. From my own point of view I am constantly gaining experience, even if it is towards the rear of the field at the moment."

The 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship continues at the A1-Ring in Austria on 13th May.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Benetton