OCTOBER 13, 1997

Czapski to Ferrari

BENETTON's controversial head of electronics Tad Czapski is to follow Ross Brawn to Ferrari. The 39-year-old Briton joined Benetton from the aerospace industry five years ago and worked on the team's active suspension, automatic gearbox, ABS and traction control systems. During 1994 Czapski hit the headlines when it was discovered that Michael Schumacher's Benetton was running a system called "launch control", which could be activated with a lap-top computer using a mysterious "option 13" on a list of 10 options. The FIA investigation was unable to prove that the system had been used but Benetton was fined $100,000 for delaying access to its systems. The major worry for Benetton is that Czapski has a detailed knowledge of the Renault V10 engine which will no doubt be very useful to Ferrari as it struggles to be competitive.

Benetton engineers were trying to play down Czapski's departure. "It is the best thing that could happen," said Nick Wirth.