Benetton feeling under-tested

THE Benetton Formula One team has undergone big changes during the off-season, and their late preparations may cost them dear in Melbourne, according to technical director Mike Gascoyne.

The design of a new car is always one of compromise with an early-launched car given more time to test, but less time during initial development.

Benetton went the other way, and Gascoyne admitted there had to be a compromise in the development process.

"Pre-season testing has been somewhat limited due to a decision we made early in the design process to push things back and to have the car come out as late as possible," explained Gascoyne.

"That gave us time to concentrate on aerodynamic development but this meant that inevitably some compromises had to be made in the amount of running we have been able to do."

The team's new B201 has done little to impress in testing, and at its launch the team were subdued and playing down their chances.

However, Gascoyne is satisfied with Benetton's pre-season preparations, and is keen to see how the team will perform against their competitors in Melbourne.

He said: "Overall we are happy with what we have achieved and look forward to seeing the fruits of this in Melbourne."

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