FEBRUARY 6, 1995

Engineering changes at Benetton

Race engineer Tim Wright has been recruited by Benetton to look after Johnny Herbert's Benetton-Renault B195. Wright joins Benetton from Sauber, where he worked last season with Karl Wendlinger and Andrea de Cesaris.

Wright has a remarkable racing pedigree, dating back to the late 1970s when he worked at Bruce McLaren Motor Racing. His career then took him to Fittipaldi Automotive as a senior design draughtsman and then to the Spirit F1 team. In 1983 he returned to McLaren where he spent the next six seasons working with Alain Prost, including Alain's two title-winning seasons in 1985 and 1986. When Prost left McLaren to join Ferrari, Wright went to Peugeot Talbot Sport and engineered Derek Warwick to the 1992 World Sportscar Championship. He also oversaw Warwick/Yannick Dalmas and Mark Blundell to victory for Peugeot in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In April 1993 he was hired by Jordan to work with Thierry Boutsen, but he left the team at the end of the year and joined his old Peugeot boss Andre de Cortanze at Sauber.

Wright replaces Frank Dernie in the Benetton hierarchy, Dernie having moved to become technical director of the Ligier team. Pat Symonds will continue to engineer Michael Schumacher and he and Wright will be backed up by electronics engineers Tad Czapski and Christian Silk.

Benetton, incidentally, has nominated Jos Verstappen as its test driver once again, which would suggest that the Dutchman will not now be placed with another team in 1995.