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The Bizarre Benettons

THE Benetton Family has a long history of curious outbursts and last week Luciano Benetton gave further evidence of his mercurial character when he told pressmen in Milan that they could expect big changes in the organization of the Benetton F1 team in 1998.

The implication was that Benetton Formula managing-director Flavio Briatore was about to be shown the door - as has been rumored for some time.

A couple of days later - after stories had appeared in newspapers all over Europe - the Benetton company rushed out a press release stating in almost apologetic terms that there would be "no variations in the current management team".

Despite the denials there is no secret in the fact that Briatore and Benetton Formula chairman Alessandro Benetton have not been getting on well in recent months. The delay in the signing of a Mecachrome contract and the arrival of Federal Express as a sponsor also seems to confirm rumors that Benetton is refusing to put more money into the team.

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