Benetton to follow suit

THE Benetton team is expected to announce shortly that it will be using Mecachrome V10 engines again in 1999 although it is expected that these will continue to be badged as Playlife V10s and not called Supertec Sport V10s. The team will become the third to be supplied by Mecachrome engines although BAR is to have engines badged as Supertec Sport V10s. Sauber is also expected to use the French engines although these are likely to be badged as Sauber Petronas V10s. Benetton is understood to be actively looking for a new engine supplier for the 2000 season with a deal expected to be made with a major manufacturer within the next couple of months.

The signing up of four teams will mean the need for major expansion at Mecachrome but the move from two to four supplies is logical in that the need to take on extra staff means four supplies rather than three makes more financial sense. The engines supplied via Supertec Sport are believed to be costing around 30% more than those which come directly from Mecachrome, the extra charge presumably being taken as profit by the mysterious owners of the company, which is managed by Flavio Briatore. All attempts to establish exactly who owns the new company have failed although there is much talk in the paddock suggesting that Bernie Ecclestone is somehow involved.

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