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, both in their third season with the team. Hidetoshi Mitsusada was appointed the teams test driver, before being dropped in May.[2][3]

Benetton B200
Benetton F1 2000.jpg
CategoryFormula One
ConstructorBenetton
Designer(s)Pat Symonds (Technical Director)
Tim Densham (Chief Designer)
Ben Agathangelou (Head of Aerodynamics)
PredecessorB199
SuccessorB201
Technical specifications
ChassisMoulded carbon-fibre monocoque
Suspension (front)Double wishbones, pushrod/torsion bar
Suspension (rear)Double wishbones, pushrod/coil spring
Axle trackFront: 1,450 mm (57 in)
Rear: 1,425 mm (56.1 in)
EnginePlaylife-badged Supertec FB02 2,998 cc (183 cu in) V10 Naturally-aspirated mid-mounted
TransmissionBenetton 6-speed sequential semi-automatic Longitudinally mounted
Power775-780 hp @ 15,600 rpm[1]
Weight600 kg (1,300 lb) (including driver)
FuelAgip
TyresBridgestone
Competition history
Notable entrantsMild Seven Benetton Playlife
Notable drivers11. Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
12. Austria Alexander Wurz
Debut2000 Australian Grand Prix
RacesWinsPodiumsPolesF/Laps
170300
Constructors' Championships0 (4th: 2000)

Design and developmentEdit

The B200 was launched in January 2000 in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya alongside being broadcast on their new website that launched in the same month.[4] Tim Densham was appointed Chief Designer for the B200, replacing the outgoing Nick Wirth. Densham had previously worked on the aborted Honda RA099 project.[5] The B200 sought to return to basics, after the complex B199 from the season before often suffered poor reliability.[6] The B200 featured a new engine, the Playlife FB02 manufactured by Supertec, which was tailor made for the B200.[7][8]

Prior to the season, the team took part in both the January testing at Barcelona and February testing at Jerez and Barcelona.[9][10] In February, the team unveiled their new Human Performance Centre linked with driver development for the 2000 season.[11]

The B200 was primarily sponsored by the Mild Seven tobacco brand, and continued to be painted in a sky blue colour. Alongside this, the team retained sponsorship from the likes of D2, whilst adding new partners Marconi and MTCI.[12]

RenaultEdit

Following the first Grand Prix of the season, it was announced Renault would purchase the Benetton team from the Benetton Family. The $120million deal, saw Renault join as a key sponsor for the B200, and successor B201 before Renault took full ownership of the team in 2002.[13]

Racing PerformanceEdit

The B200 got off to a successful start, scoring two points with Fisichella in the first race of the season. Ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Rocco Benetton's successor Flavio Briatore returned to the team having been appointed by Renault at Team Principal.[14] He oversaw the team secure a podium finish, again with Fisichella, as he finished in third place at Interlagos.[15] Days later he would be promoted to second place after David Coulthard was disqualified.[16]

 
Fisichella scored three podium finishes in the B200

After the initial success, the following three Grand Prix were barren for the team with no points scored. Prior to the European Grand Prix, the team dropped test driver Mitsusada following underperformance in F3000. They quickly recruited Antonio Pizzonia who began testing and development duties in the B200.[17] For their backroom team, it was also announced Mike Gascoyne would join from Jordan Grand Prix for 2001.[18]

At the European Grand Prix, Fisichella finished 5th adding two more points to the B200's total. He would go on to secure back to back podiums in Monaco and later Canada, thanks to a one stop pit strategy.[19][20][21] However, the good fortune was short lived as he retired from four of the next five Grand Prix.

In comparison to Fisichella, Wurz had a poor season. It took until the Italian Grand Prix to score his first points of the season, finishing 5th.[22] During the season it was speculated that Pizzonia would replace him, and by August Jenson Button was signed for the team ahead of 2001.[23][24]

Wurz's efforts at Monza would be the final points scored for the B200 in the 2000 season.[25] 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.[26]

Following the conclusion of the season, future double Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso tested the Benetton B200.[27] Future race winner Mark Webber was appointed 2001 test driver and also completed laps in the B200, at Estoril Circuit.[28][29]


Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
2000 Mild Seven Benetton Playlife* 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

* Denotes Supertec-built engines, badged as Playlife

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Engine Playlife • STATS F1".
  2. ^ "Benetton Maintains Japanese Line". crash.net. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Benetton Looking For New Test Driver". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  4. ^ "Benetton's Launch to be Delivered on the Internet". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Wirth Quits Benetton". crash.net. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Benetton Launches B200". crash.net. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Benetton launches 2000 challenger". Autosport. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Interview with Pat Symonds on the New Benetton". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  9. ^ "January Test Times Analysis". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  10. ^ "February Test Times Analysis". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  11. ^ "Benetton Launch New Human Performance Centre". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  12. ^ "Benetton Sign Marconi and MTCI". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  13. ^ "Renault Buys Benetton Team". Motorsport. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  14. ^ "Briatore Back at the Helm at Benetton". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  15. ^ "Briatore Scores on his Return to Benetton". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  16. ^ "Coulthard loses appeal". Autosport. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Pizzonia Impresses Benetton on his First F1 Test". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  18. ^ "The revolution begins at Benetton". grandprix.com. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  19. ^ "Benetton Pit Stop Strategy Pays Off". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  20. ^ "2000 Monaco Grand Prix". Motorsport Magazine. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  21. ^ "2000 Canadian Grand Prix". Motorsport Magazine. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  22. ^ "Monza 2000". race-fans.net. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Wurz still safe despite Pizzonia claim". crash.net. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  24. ^ "Button's Deal with Benetton Now Official". Autosport. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  25. ^ "Benetton B200". StatsF1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  26. ^ "2000 Constructor Standings". F1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  27. ^ "What's changed in F1 since Alonso made his 2000 testing debut". Autosport. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  28. ^ "Webber Confirmed as Benetton Test Driver". Autosport. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  29. ^ "World Wide Webber". Atlasf1. Retrieved 5 August 2022.