US GP Benetton race notes

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a reliable race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to come home in eighth and ninth position in the 2001 US Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella, who finished the race in eighth, said afterwards: "I ...

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a reliable race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to come home in eighth and ninth position in the 2001 US Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella, who finished the race in eighth, said afterwards:

"I picked up some positions at the first corner, but there was congestion all around the first lap and I lost some ground as a result. Although the car was well balanced at the start, it began to oversteer after about eight laps because the rear tyres were blistering. The car was quite difficult at that stage, although at the end of the race it was much better."

His team-mate Jenson Button, who finished ninth, said he was disappointed to have made a mistake in his pitstop.

"I made a good start, but I was unable to profit from it too much because Trulli came alongside and then pulled straight across in front of me. Given the brilliant starts we have made recently, I had been hoping to gain a few places on the run to the first turn.

"Overall the race went okay, although I made a mistake during my pit stop. Because the rear of the car had been locking up, I had all the brake bias wound to the front. I forgot about that when I came into the pits and consequently locked up again, this time at the other end."

And as Technical Director Mike Gascoyne explained the team's afternoon, he said that tyres had been a problem for both drivers.

"From a reliability point of view, it is very good that our cars finished in the top nine," he explained, "and while both drivers performed well, conditions were quite difficult because our rear tyres blistered.

"Neither driver made an excellent start, although we were able to pick up a couple of places on lap one. Jenson in particular made progress in the early stages, but then both their rear tyres started to go off on their cars and they became quite difficult to drive until they made their pit stops.

"Jenson stopped a little earlier than scheduled, because traffic was quite heavy and he was trying to gain track position for later in the race. He locked his brakes when he came in and got the car sideways, but the mechanics did a great job to recover and got him out without losing any time," he added.

"Giancarlo's tyres were in good shape towards the end of his first stint, and he was really able to push, but unfortunately he lost a couple of places to Irvine and Heidfeld when he made his stop.

"It wasn't easy to work out the correct strategy for this race because it was tough to predict how the tyres were going to behave," added Gascoyne, "but overall Giancarlo and Jenson drove strong races, even though the result looks unremarkable."

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team will be testing at Barcelona from Tuesday October 2 with Mark Webber at the wheel. He will concentrate on engine developments for the 2002 season but also evaluate tyre compounds that might be relevant to this year's season finale in Japan, which takes place on October 14 at Suzuka.

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